When searching on Google, I found that it's a lot more common to use is than are in phrases such as "What is/are your name and date of birth?".

Why is that? To me, it feels more natural to use is in the sentence; however, seeing as we're asking about both name and date of birth (i.e., two things) I wonder why the plural form (are) isn't used.

What's grammatically correct in the following sentences, and why?

  1. What is vs. what are your name and height?

  2. What is vs. what are your favorite possession and dream car?


  • Have you researched an answer? There are probably a dozen duplicate questions in this site alone about this topic. Oct 4, 2017 at 13:00
  • Yes, I have actually, but I didn't find any posts that specifically address this issue. Perhaps my searching skills are subpar. Perhaps you could be so kind as to direct me to the questions you're referring to?
    – user260339
    Oct 4, 2017 at 15:53
  • Scan the compound-subject tag Oct 5, 2017 at 0:13
  • I beg to point out that the example questions are unnatural, even if you can show some specific examples of anyone combining questions like that. The point here is that phrases like name and address very long ago passed from literal to idiomatic, since when it’s been shorthand for contact details. No-one ever asks for anything like name and height, nor possession and dream car but if they forced themselves to ask unnatural questions in order to prove a point, they should use are. Oct 5, 2017 at 21:54
  • @RobbieGoodwin I decided to ask a new Q with more natural examples here english.stackexchange.com/questions/444760/…
    – MWB
    May 4, 2018 at 19:26


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