2

Some of the confusion among the posted answers cause me to add this prefatory note: There is one province called Newfoundland and Labrador. There is no province called Newfoundland and there is no province called Labrador.

"Newfoundland and Labrador is" or "Newfoundland and Labrador are"?

I think I would write "Newfoundland and Labrador is the only province in which license plates are pink with purple polka-dots" (except that they're not, AFAIK, but that's a different topic).

If I were going on vacation and intended to visit both Newfoundland and Labrador I might write "Newfoundland and Labrador are where I'm going", and if I were going to Newfoundland but not to Labrador I certainly wouldn't write that, nor "Newfoundland and Labrador is...." etc.

In this matter, are there standard conventions adhered to by all sober literate people and blessed by learned authorities and taught to children in all schools?

What other polities called "A and B", where A and B are two disjoint geographic regions? (I seem to vaguely recall that "Serbia and Montenegro" was once a thing. Not sure I'd count "Budapest".) What do they do with "is" and "are" in other such cases?

  • 1
    Serbia and Montenegro was (is?) a single state, like Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Trinidad and Tobago. Single items take a singular verb. However, if discussing the separate islands of Trinidad and Tobago, you have two items, which need a plural verb. – Andrew Leach Mar 2 '17 at 12:09
  • Another historical example: The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. So I assume you would say The Two Sicilies was ... – Peter Shor Mar 2 '17 at 15:38
  • I've sometimes wondered why the Papal States were called the Papal States instead of the Papal State. In Italian it is "Stato della Chiesa", which is singular. – Michael Hardy Mar 3 '17 at 5:25
  • @PeterShor : Certainly I would say "The Kingdom was...." – Michael Hardy Mar 18 '17 at 23:44
-1

If they are distinct political or socio-economic regions, or if the author chooses to classify them as such for the purposes of clarity or distinction then they take a plural verb.

England and Scotland are countries within the United Kingdom.

Wessex and Northumbria are regions of England.

Bristol and Newcastle are cities within those regions.

Newfoundland and Labrador are the only provinces in which ....

  • 1
    You're completely missing the point. You need to brush up on your Canadian geography. Newfoundland and Labrador are not two provinces; Newfoundland and Labrador is one province. – Peter Shor Mar 2 '17 at 12:29
  • Ok I didn't realise that. – Chris M Mar 2 '17 at 13:49
  • @PeterShor : He also needs to brush up on what the question actually says. – Michael Hardy Mar 2 '17 at 18:28
  • No 'he' doesn't. – Chris M Mar 2 '17 at 19:38
  • @ChrisM : You're right: They need to. Or he or she needs to. – Michael Hardy Mar 3 '17 at 5:15
-1

Newfoundland and Labrador are two provinces in which....

Both Newfoundland and Labrador are...

Neither Newfoundland nor Labrador is...

Two or more nouns or pronouns joined by and require a plural verb. But if the nouns suggest one idea to the mind, or refer to the same person or thing, the verb can be singular.

The horse and carriage is ready.

My friend and benefactor has come.

Even when certain countries or organisations have plural names, usually they take singular verbs and pronouns.

The United States of America is...

Consolidated Fruitgrowers has just taken over Universal Foodstores.

  • 1
    You're completely missing the point. You need to brush up on your Canadian geography. Newfoundland and Labrador are not two provinces; Newfoundland and Labrador is one province. – Peter Shor Mar 2 '17 at 12:23
  • Thank you. You are right that my Canadian geography is really dusty. If they are one province and can be thought of one and the same, the verb of course can be singular. – mahmud koya Mar 2 '17 at 13:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.