Take this sentence: "The portable inkjet printer and wireless color photo printer included in XYZ enables ABC."

Should this be enable as you're referring to two different things, or is it enables because you are referring to two singular things?

Also, If I were to instead say" "The portable inkjet and wireless color photo printer", should printer be plural or singular there? I'm guessing if it stays singular then it would be enables and not enable.

  • Two or more things enable and one thing enables. You are describing two things. – Jason Bassford Mar 14 '19 at 19:31

Two things in a single unit are still correctly two things, and the two things "enable". But it is more common in American speech for people to follow the singular word, so far away from printers, with "enable".

I would say that "printers ... each enable" both is right and sounds right.

As for the alternative phrasing: from the user's point of view, not the mechanic's, is your unit essentially all one device, such as something that prints everything out the same port, or is it two devices in one stack or on one platform? That will tell you if it's singular or plural.

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