Which one is more correct grammatically speaking in English?

a) Is X and Y the exact same thing?
b) Are X and Y the exact same things?
c) Are X and Y the exact same thing?

Please state your answer for : 1) BrE and 2) AmE.

And the sources. Please :)

Also how common is it for Native English People to not follow the correct grammar pattern for this?

How often do you hear Native English speaker mistakenly saying using option a or b (whichever one is the incorrect one, which I don't know yet), even though it is incorrect?

NOTE there are two objects being mentioned here X and Y. Regardless whether they are countable or uncountable things. So there are two things, no more and no less than that.

2 Answers 2


In formal American English, the correct version of the question is:

c) Are X and Y the exact same thing?

The subject and verb are plural, because we start by discussing two different concepts.

The complement is singular -- one hypothetical concept that the subjects might be identical to.

An equally correct question is:

d) Are X and Y two different things?

In this question, the complement is plural.


South East Asian English (SEA-E) aka the one spoken with lots of lah suffixes... and Based upon the English spoken by majority of the Commonwealth countries. Personally I lean towards

a) Is X and Y the same thing?

as it refers to the question whether x and y are equal. A singular item.

However it is taught in school that both X and Y are already 2 items; therefore the subjects need to be referred in a plural. Furthermore the result is singular item. Hence

C) Are X and Y the same thing?

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