Which one is correct?

Rice and beef are not on the menu

Rice and beef is not on the menu

Explain why


Depending on what you wish to say, either could be correct. If you were referring to a dish named "rice and beef", then it is a singular item, and "is" would be correct. If referring to two separate things, rice as one menu item and beef as the other then it is a plural reference. The verb "are" would be correct.

In the latter instance, a more clear way to express the thought would be:

Neither rice nor beef are on the menu.

  • Formally, "neither rice nor beef is on the menu" is correct, as neither is formally singular. But the way you have used it is colloquial (plural neither), although likely an error: Which is correct, “neither is” or “neither are”? – Brandin Oct 17 '18 at 6:57
  • @Brandin Yes English can be inconsistent. To me, your correction makes no sense. (I'm not saying you are wrong, just that it is nonsensical.) Why need the plural for two menu items in the first form, "Rice and beef are not on the menu.", but inverting to say the same thing, "Neither rice nor beef is on the menu." now takes the singular for the same two separate items? Both "rice" and "beef" act equally and directly as subject identifiers. Maybe it is a consistency thing, with "neither" being defined as singular. But when "nor" is there also, that is a second singular. Two singles = plural. – RichF Oct 17 '18 at 16:36

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