Either his parents or Pheroze is going to come today.

The author of the book suggests as :

Either Pheroze or his parents are going to come today. = OK

We know with ( either \ or and neither\ nor ) the last verb agrees with the closer noun to ( or \ nor) So, it is correct on its original pattern. Pheroze = singular and using ( is ) = correct My question " Why to move the singular noun ( Pheroze) to be directly after either " Is this a technique or a new technique?

  • 1
    My instinct as a native speaker is that "his parents... is" sounds very awkward with only two words in between. Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 9:06
  • This is entirely a stylistic choice, but the "normal" choice is to identify the subject first if it's coupled within a compound noun phrase with something connected to the subject, and therefore requiring a possessive "forward reference" (such as the word his here). But if a writer did make the less common sequence choice, he'd be very likely to emphasise the construction with a reflexive pronoun: Either his parents or Pheroze himself is going to come today. And there's always scope for disagreement regarding whether that should be is or are going to come. Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 12:55

1 Answer 1


I got it Blue Grammar book suggests the following rule :

Rule 5

When a singular and plural subject are connected by either/or or neither/nor, put the plural subject last and use a plural verb. Example: Neither Jenny nor the others are available

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