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The sentence in concern is : We agreed that Coco and Rocky are not the same dog. Shouldn't it be: We agreed that Coco and Rocky is not the same dog. ? According to my Word grammar editor, is is the correct form of the verb there. It doesn't sound right, though.

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Your Word grammar editor is completely confused. Even if Coco and Rocky were the same dog, you would say "Coco and Rocky are the same dog". (Even though there is only one singular dog.) –  Peter Shor Feb 23 '14 at 15:05
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Do not look to Microsoft as an authority on... anything. –  Ernest Friedman-Hill Feb 23 '14 at 15:06
    
@ErnestFriedman-Hill Go to rise4fun.com - they've been busy lately it would seem. –  d'alar'cop Feb 23 '14 at 15:07
    
Haha alright @ErnestFriedman-Hill. –  Artemisia Feb 23 '14 at 15:09
    
@PeterShor Thank you. I needed this clarified haha. –  Artemisia Feb 23 '14 at 15:09

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The fundamental rule (in US English, at least) is: if you have two subjects connected with "and", then you must take a plural verb. By comparison, if you have two subjects connected with "or," then the verb takes the singular/plural to match the second subject. "The Smiths or Mike is going to do the job." and "Mike or the Smiths are going to do the job."

As the comments suggested, regardless of how many actual items the subject nouns refer to, the fact that you have multiple subjects means the verb form must be plural.

PS trusting MS Word on grammar or spelling is even dumber than trusting MS Excel on math.

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A lesson learnt :) thank you –  Artemisia Mar 3 '14 at 17:23

The verb changes only due to the subject: in this case two dogs, therefore a plural verb. This is irrespective of the fact that the object is singular.

Rocky and Coco are the same dog

Rocky is the same dog as Coco and Rufus

And although Word's grammar check can be useful, don't take is as gospel.

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