1. Siblings are an important part of our lives and I believe supporting, cheering, directing and motivating them is/are also important.
  2. Booking, canceling and rebooking flights does/do not take much time.

Should I use is/does or are/do in these sentences? According to me, we can use either of them. If we are taking all these things as a single step/task then we should use is/does, but if we are taking these things as separate tasks/steps then we should use are/do. Are my interpretations correct? What should we actually use in such cases?

1 Answer 1


In this example, we can summarise as: "[thing] is important". Hopefully that makes it clear why we use the singular 'is' rather than the plural.

Exactly the same thing with your second example, which could be summarised as "This [thing] does not take much time."

While in both examples, [thing] does contain some plural words, the action as a whole is one single item.

  • Thank you :-). What if we assume those things to be separate and multiple items, can we use ‘are/do’ then? Oct 12, 2020 at 17:44
  • I can't immediately think of an example where [thing] would be treated as plural, but there probably is - give me an example if you can think of one.
    – MikeB
    Oct 13, 2020 at 9:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .