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Where is the Messiah and his Kingdom?

I think it should be "Where are the Messiah and his kingdom"; it just sounds better! But my friends and even a teacher claim that "is" would be correct.

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"Where is ..." sounds better to me! –  w3d Dec 20 '12 at 23:43
    
Related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/13320/…, –  KitFox Dec 21 '12 at 0:51
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3 Answers

Formal agreement requires are. Those who argue for is will see 'the Messiah and his Kingdom' as a unitary concept, thus allowing notional agreement by means of the singular.

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It seems to me you could reasonably use "is" if you have a comma after "Messiah". So if we allow that discarding a comma which imho isn't exactly vital, it's just valid elision from "Where is the Messiah and [where is] his Kingdom?" –  FumbleFingers Dec 20 '12 at 22:56
    
@FumbleFingers- That's exactly how I took it as well. –  Jim Dec 20 '12 at 23:32
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It seems to me you could reasonably use "is" if you have a comma after "Messiah". So if we allow discarding a comma (which imho isn't exactly vital), it's just valid elision from...

"Where is the Messiah and [where is] his Kingdom?"

FWIW, I just Googled "where are the queen and her" (1 result), and "where is the queen and her" (3 results). Not much to go on, but it does suggest the singular verb form isn't that ridiculous.

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It can only be singular; otherwise it becomes a tedious ambiguous construction!

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The ambiguity being? I am not quite sure I'm following... –  RegDwigнt Dec 21 '12 at 0:33
    
If "the Messiah and his Kingdom" is not a unitary, then the semantic possibilities are expanded. –  gmiket Dec 21 '12 at 1:13
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Still not following. Please clearly state which conflicting readings arise. Otherwise your comment is just a fancy way of saying "I have no idea myself". –  RegDwigнt Dec 21 '12 at 1:17
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