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Which sentence below is correct? This is instructional text directing an online user to an image showing where they may locate the routing number and account number on a paper check.

  1. Where do I find the routing and account number? OR
  2. Where do I find the routing and account numbers?

Note: I could not find an answer to this specific scenario in previous posts; hence, the new question.

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, Drew, tchrist Mar 5 '17 at 14:41

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    Think about it this way: if you had five kids and wanted to mention the youngest child and the oldest child, do you think you would refer to those two kids as "your oldest and youngest child" or "your oldest and youngest children"? Which of those two talks about two kids and which talks about just one? – tchrist Mar 3 '17 at 15:27
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    As English sentences, they are both grammatically correct and make sense. The first refers to a single number called the "routing and account number"; the second refers to two numbers, the "routing number" and the "account number". Choose which one you mean. – MetaEd Mar 3 '17 at 15:28
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Your system needs the routing number in one field (always 9 digits) and the account number in the next (usually 10 digits.)

Since you are pointing people to read the two number series in the lower left of the check, and to enter the two into separate fields, together they are numbers. (If you asked for the routing number in one field and the account number in another, those are singular. The year 2017 is one number.)

Since you combine what you need people to find, you want them to copy the routing and account numbers into the screen. Both of those two numbers.

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Is it routing numbers and account numbers or routing and account numbers? Since there is likely a routing AND a routing number, it's best to use exact for both, to avoid confusion.

If each is singular: Where do I find the routing number and account number?

If one is plural (multiple repsponses): Where do I find the routing numbers and account number? Where do I find the routing number and account numbers?

If both are plural: Where do I find the routing numbers and account numbers?

If it is the routing, not the routing number, drop the "number(s)" and make routing singular or plural.

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    "Routing number" and "account number" are two separate values, and each is singular (i.e., the set of numbers comprising the "routing number" and "account number" is considered a single number). – kbn316 Mar 3 '17 at 16:26

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