1. Both American and Canadian culture are...
  2. Both American and Canadian cultures are...

Which sentence is correct?

  • The second one. The first is ungrammatical. – WS2 Oct 28 '15 at 15:43
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    Possible duplicate of [Singular] Is/Are [Plural]? – user24743 Oct 28 '15 at 15:47
  • But both American and Canadian culture is... is also grammatical, with the meaning that you are treating them as a single culture. – Colin Fine Oct 28 '15 at 15:51
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    @ColinFine I don't think that it is usually used in that way, though. If you wanted to refer to American and Canadian cultures as one, you would probably say North American culture. – Heather Brown Oct 28 '15 at 15:56
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    The first one's fine. It's conjunction reduction of American culture is ... and Canadian culture is ..., and since it winds up being more than one it's plural and takes are. Just like Both Miami and New York are in the East. – John Lawler Oct 28 '15 at 18:10

This looks to me like an example of ellipsis, where a repeated section of a sentence is omitted. In this case, with that text pencilled back in, it would look like this:

Both American culture and Canadian culture are...

Written like this, it is clear that culture should be singular, and the verb should be plural.

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The verb would have to agree with "Both", so it would be "Both____ are..." However, you can change it to "American and Canadian culture is..."

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  • Hi Gwen. I think the question was more culture vs. cultures. – anongoodnurse Oct 29 '15 at 2:06

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