When multiple uncountable nouns form a single noun phrase, should it be considered to be plural?

  1. Knowledge and experience was the only thing he wanted.

  2. Knowledge and experience were the only things he wanted.

Which one is correct?

2 Answers 2


If you consider these to be two items then use the plural. This would be my choice in most situations, whether the items in the list are plural or not.

There few situations where you might use "is" when considering "knowledge and experience" as one thing.


In conclusion, knowledge and experience are two different perceptions

Knowledge and experience are regarded as the most important assets for sustainable success in today's knowledge-based economy.knowledge and experience is

Knowledge is power, but knowledge and experience is powerful.

In the last example, the author uses "is" because he wants to consider "knowledge and experience" as a single property that you may have. That is rarer


Yes. The conjucnction "and" makes the noun phrase plural despite the uncountable nature of both nouns. The reason is that, thanks to the "and" you have at least two.

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