For example:

The floor plan and room numbers __ updated

I want to say are because of room numbers. However floor plan is singular.

The room numbers and floor plan is updated and The floor pland and room numbers is updated does not sound correct.

What is the rule?
In my example there is technically one floor plan which has many room numbers, if it matters.

  • If you have an "and", even if both pieces are singular, you use a plural verb (except in certain exceptional circumstances): "The floor plan and cost estimate have been updated." Jan 29, 2013 at 21:15
  • Of course, if you have an "or" instead of an "and", then you have real agreement problems. Either Bill or his brothers [is/are] coming early. Jan 29, 2013 at 21:27
  • @JohnLawler woulnd't will be solve that?
    – gSaenz
    Jan 29, 2013 at 21:49
  • Of course. But the modal is purely for show, to lock out the agreement problem. This is what's generally been happening in English for the last millennium or so -- we've been avoiding inflectional problems with syntactic crutches. Mostly involving auxiliary verbs and contractions. Jan 29, 2013 at 21:59

2 Answers 2


Since the verb is referring to multiple objects (the floor plan and the room numbers), you should use its plural form (I agree with AmandaWitt that "have been" is better):

The floor plan and room numbers have been updated.

If you were referring to the floor plan alone the singular would be correct:

The floor plan has been updated.

If you were referring to the room numbers only, the plural form would be correct since multiple room numbers have been updated:

The room numbers have been updated.

  • chosen for taking the time to explain
    – gSaenz
    Jan 29, 2013 at 21:35

"The room numbers and floor plan have both been updated."


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