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Which of these sentences are correct?

1. The songs or the title of the playlist was updated.
2. The songs or the title of the playlist were updated.
3. the title or the songs of the playlist was updated.
4. The title or the songs of the playlist were updated.
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    We have lots of questions where your or is and but I'm not sure we have a question about or. There are comments on an and question which are relevant, though. – Andrew Leach Apr 29 '20 at 17:07
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    I would be inclined to make both alternatives singular (or plural), for example "The content or the title of the playlist was updated". – Andrew Leach Apr 29 '20 at 17:10
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    Does this answer your question? "My brother or one of my sisters" — singular or plural? [@tchrist's monumental answer includes 'The rule in English for when you have disjunction in a compound subject (meaning two of more separate subjects connected by an “or”, or by a “either ... or”, or by an “neither ... nor”), is that the verb agrees with the nearer subject – or nearest, if there are more than two.'] – Edwin Ashworth Apr 29 '20 at 18:06
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    Questions like this, while having a perhaps technically correct answer (which you'd have to argue for), will still result in something that doesn't sound right to somebody. If something is so awkward that it sounds wrong no matter how it's constructed, then rephrase it: Either the songs of the playlist were updated, or its title was. – Jason Bassford Apr 29 '20 at 19:24
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The songs or the title of the playlist was updated.

The title or the songs of the playlist were updated

As a general rule, you decide the verb on the basis of singularity or plurality of the nearest subject (ref.).

  • In example 1, if it was titles, then it would be more grammatical to use were

  • In example 2, if it was song, then was would be more apposite.

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    I agree. There is an implied "Either" that fronts the sentences: "[Either] the songs or the title was updated." ++ "[Either] the playlist or the songs were updated." – Greybeard Apr 29 '20 at 18:01

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