In sentences in which a verb references an event, and a particular case of that same event, should i use the singular or plural form for the verb?

for example:

"milk production, and in particular white milk production, is/are subject to severe scrutiny"

  • Tito: Welcome, and great question! Where have you looked, or asked, to find an answer? What did you discover? Add these to your posts and we can help give you a better answer. Jul 16, 2014 at 15:50
  • i didn't really look anywhere yet, as posing this kind of questions to google is not trivial, and i thought stack exchange would be the perfect place for something like this. i'll keep you posted if i find anything! Jul 16, 2014 at 15:54
  • Understood. Just making sure that (in the words of my boss) you "did some due diligence" before coming into the question; that's what makes a good question. Jul 16, 2014 at 16:01
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    .. and in particular white milk is equivalent to especially white milk; the conjunction and merely leads to a subset of special interest. It does not result in a conjoined count noun phrase, and therefore doesn't need plural verb agreement. Jul 16, 2014 at 16:20
  • John Lawler's explanation is correct, but if it's not clear in a specific instance, the trick I've always used to choose the correct plural usage is to see which one is correct if the phrase surrounded by commas is omitted: "Milk production is subject to severe scrutiny." That's the part of the sentence to which your singular verb refers. Am I off base with that?
    – Liesmith
    Jul 16, 2014 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


The phrase is saying that milk production (just one noun) is subject to severe scrutiny. The way in which the second noun is added is just adding emphasis to the first noun, like "all balls (especially bouncy ones) bounce" (please excuse the bad example here, I can't think of a better one at this time...

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