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  1. How are the wife and kid?
  2. How is the wife and kid?

Which is more correct?

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3 Answers

"Are" is correct for most compound subjects, except for singular meanings (i.e. mac and cheese is) and alternative subjects (you or your wife is -- you or your friends are, though -- matches subject closest to the verb). Yay for style manuals.

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It's not a question of "more" correct. The first (using "are") is correct, and the second (using "is") is not.

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When in doubt, a useful test involves substituting pronouns. Consider

How is they?


How are they?

Say the wife and kid live in different places—maybe the latter is away at school—and you want to express this independence, you might use

How is the wife? The kid?

Any more explicit and the repetitiveness will be tiresome.

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