Physical training and activities benefit(s) children.

This subject should be followed by singular or plural verb? "Activities" is plural and "training" is uncountable and should be treated as singular noun. So I am confused.

1 Answer 1


There are multiple items, so the verb form is plural.

Apples and oranges benefit children.
An apple and oranges benefit children.

Periods of physical training and other activities benefit children.
Physical training and activities benefit children.

Had it read physical training and activity (singular), it would be ambiguous—aside from the fact that the author would have used one verb form or the other, making it clear. (Assuming they were applying the right rule.) It would be ambiguous because physical training and activity could be referring to two different things or to one compound thing.

Like this:

The activity of eating and drinking is good for your health.


Eating and drinking are two different activities.

Depending on how you interpret eating and drinking, it's either a single activity or two separate activities.

But if you have a single item, you need a singular verb form; if you have a plural number of items, you need a plural verb form.

Now, you might still think it sounds strange, even if it is technically correct. If that's the case, rephrase the sentence—as I did with:

Periods of physical training and other activities benefit children.

Doing that turned everything into a plural.

Or, you could handle the situation differently:

Physical training benefits children. So do physical activities.
Children benefit from physical training and other activities.


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