|Words shaped by David Warr's PlantMaker|
How much is a cheese sandwich and a coffee?
How much are a cheese sandwich and a coffee?
Which is correct?
This is a bit like my post on There is... or there are... Instinctively, I'd say the first sentence is the right one, but aren't we talking about more than one thing? A cheese sandwich AND a coffee?
Well, yes, but it boils down to what you are actually asking. Think about it. You are asking for the price of the two things together.
What is the price of a cheese sandwich, and what is the price of a coffee?
What is the price of a cheese sandwich and a coffee together?
Which do you mean? It's obvious now, isn't it? :-)
But then, would you say...
How much is the cds?
How much are the cds?
You'd say ask the second question, right? So, just as in there is/are, we use the verb that coincides with the nearest noun:
How much is a sandwich and two coffees?
How much are two coffees and a sandwich?
Comments are invited and appreciated.