I think below sentence has a subject/verb agreement. Here noun is singular but there are two adjectives.

Public and private life is to be governed.

If the sentence has an error, please explain with suitable examples

  • 3
    It's a singular noun with two attributes, and it is the number of the noun which governs the number of the verb. Commented May 6, 2016 at 8:44
  • Does it mean like this "[Public life and private life] is to be governed"?
    – ARYF
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 8:52
  • 2
    @StoneyB - I'm not sure I agree. What makes you certain it's a singular noun? Life can be uncountable, and if we're referring to "public life" and "private life", then it would be are. Consider "Red and white wheat ___ grown at the farm." If we're talking about "red wheat and white wheat" it's clearly are.
    – stangdon
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 14:32
  • @stangdon Consider: "Public and private life is the topic for today, should they be considered separate for politicians", the first part of the sentence is considering two aspects of the same life, the second part treats them as separated. "Public and private lives are the topic for today" could have a different meaning since it would allow one person's public life and another person's private life which may not be linked.
    – Peter
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 20:11
  • 1
    ARYF.- The latest textbook I used was (Longman) Advanced FOCUS ON GRAMMAR by Jay Maurer;(3rd Edition) Unit 10. Top of page 168. The previous pages deal with the order of adjectives. There you have examples with the verb after a noun modified by more than one adjective. Since this agreement of subject and verb is taken for granted, the previous examples only give importance to the order adjectives have before a noun. You can display this textbook on Internet (PDF version) (not necessary to download it).
    – lalynacar.
    Commented May 28, 2016 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


Public and private life is to be governed.

For the above sentence, the only context that fits is that Public and private are adjectives for life; therefore, the sentence is fine.

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