My university offers two courses, ECN470 and FIN470. If I ask someone whether they both are same courses(by study materials), what should I ask?
- ‘Is’ ECN470 and FIN470 the same course?
- ‘Are’ ECN470 and FIN470 the same courses?
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Neither of those are correct.
It would actually be phrased:
Are ECN470 and FIN470 the same course?
I.e. You need to use "are" for the plurality of the two course names, and then the singular "course".
It may seem counter-intuitive, but let's expand out the essential meaning to see what is singular and what is plural:
Are ECN470 and FIN470 two different names for the same course?
The reason for using the singular "course" is that even though we are only postulating that they may be a single course, the idea of this single course, which is what we are talking about in the sentence, is still singular.
The following, which is another valid way of asking this, should make this clear:
Are ECN470 and FIN470 the same course or two different courses?