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I'm creating a short slogan describing a website's functions. The website consists of a photos storage function plus discussion boards. This is an attempt to put it shortly:

Example.com is photos plus discussions

Is it correct? Particularly, I'm not sure using "is" with plural nouns is correct.

marked as duplicate by sumelic, Cascabel, choster, Skooba, Hellion Mar 13 '17 at 18:41

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  • In this case you're not using "is" with plural nouns as such, you're stating what a single thing (Example.com) consists of. That said, unless it's literally a collection of photos and discussions (pro tip: it isn't; it's a website) your sentence doesn't read very well. To wit, a more fitting statement would be "Example.com is a website for storing your photos and discussing your interests." or something along those lines. Or, if you want a short slogan, consider "Store your photos. Discuss your interests. Example.com" as a form of clipped marketspeak. – John Clifford Mar 16 '16 at 12:05
  • @JohnClifford These are the only two components of the website (from a user's point of view), so I think it's OK to say the website "consists of" them. Your suggestions are good but I was looking for a very short slogan just stating the functionality. – Radomir Liksy Mar 16 '16 at 12:14
  • If you're okay with that construction then it's fine to use "is" there, as it's referring to the singular name of the website rather than the plurals you're using to describe it. – John Clifford Mar 16 '16 at 12:16
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The answer to this lies in a bit of 'language algebra.'

First of all, Example.com is singular.

Therefore, you must use the verb is when describing its state of being.

In this example, photos plus discussions is also singular - not in the sense that it is only one thing, but in the sense that it represents a singular idea. Think of it this way:

5 = (2 + 3)

One way to put this mathematical statement into words would be to say

Five is two plus three.

In this illustration, five is singular, and therefore two plus three is also singular in the sense that it is a singular representation of the combination (or sum) of two parts which make up the subject, five. It can be written or said both ways:

Five is (two plus three).

(Two plus three) is five.

Therefore,

Example.com is (photos plus discussions).

However, a better way to write this would be

Example.com is a combination of photos and discussions.

This makes it absolutely clear and eliminates any possibility of confusion or syntactic awkwardness. You may also replace is with consists of for further clarity, although this isn't absolutely necessary. I would leave it as is for the sake of simplicity, but it's up to you.

Hope this helps!

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