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Which one of the following is correct and why?

You both are my friend.

or

You both are my friends.

closed as off-topic by tchrist, Drew, Chenmunka, Centaurus, Mari-Lou A Apr 7 '15 at 2:58

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    Tricky question! I think in the case of friends, in your exact context, most people would use the plural, but the singular doesn't seem ridiculous to me. On the other hand, suppose one of these three-parent babies grows up (to be a competent speaker), and he's is talking to his two "mothers". I can easily imagine him saying "You both are/are both my mother", and in that context the plural sounds more than a trifle "weird". – FumbleFingers Apr 4 '15 at 21:25
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    Even after you've made friends with both of them? Seriously, I think that this is the loss-of-countification (I'm not sure it's really true massification) one sees with crystallised / crystallising expressions. The men weighed their cases but the ships weighed anchor. They're losing their cool. Both of them need to get a grip on their spending. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 4 '15 at 21:52
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    Pair plural with plural. You both are my friends. – Anonym Apr 4 '15 at 22:21
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The use of the word "You" which we understand to refer to the plural decides the matter. "You" can also mean one person, but "both" indicates there are two in this case. So "both are my friends" is correct (one is a friend; more than one are friends), although I would have said "Both of you are my friends" rather than "You both," only because it sounds more natural to my ears.

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"Both" requires the plural verb form "are," and each of them asks and collectively ask for the plural noun "friends."

The practical proof is in the pudding at Google Books: :-)

"both are my friends" About 4,730 results

"both are my friend" About 0 results [well, in fact there is a hit, this very discussion :-)]

  • The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The proof is in the pudding only if you spike it. – Brian Hitchcock Apr 4 '15 at 23:17
  • thank you for the answer, would have voted up but it needs 16 reputation :). – Rachit Magon Apr 6 '15 at 9:06

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