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This question already has an answer here:

look at these two sentences:

neither the coach nor the players are going to the beach.

neither the players nor the coach is going to the beach.

why does one sentence use "are" while the other has "is"?

does it have something to do with the arrangement of subjects or is there any other reason?

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, tchrist, choster, RyeɃreḁd, Mari-Lou A Apr 27 '14 at 14:54

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Great! This is a question on subject-verb agreement.


(1) Subjects joined by "and" are always plural, and need plural verbs.

(2) For subjects joined by "or" or "nor", you look at the subject closest to the verb for agreement.


So, "Neither the coach nor the players" means that we look at "players" for agreement.

'Players' is plural, so we use "are going".


In "Neither the players nor the coach", we look at the subject closest to the verb, "coach".

'Coach' is singular, so we use "is going".


Have a great day!

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