Saturday, January 05, 2008

Was Or Were?

Please tell me if this is a grammatically correct:

"The pizza and the dessert was very good."

I say it should be "were". I also think it should be "desserts".

This came from a "Thank you" card posted on the wall of my favorite Pizza place. My other obvious question here; is it really a heartfelt message if it is gramatically correct? (Because if I have to ask, obviously the kids didn't think about it and therefore did not write it themselves.)


Anonymous said...

So my understanding is that you take out the first object, or whatever it's called to decide if the sentence is correct.

The dessert was very good.

So it is correct to say "The pizza and dessert was very good." If it were desserts, then "were" would be correct. But I think dessert being singular is fine.

Although I'm far from an English expert, I could be way off base on this.

fixyourthinking said...

Thanks ... I posted this from my iPhone to try to settle a little grammar dispute between my girlfriend and I.

Question: would pizza & dessert not make plurals because they are plurals and therefore necesitate "were"?

Anyone else caring to chime in would be appreciated - especially if you are on my side .. LOL

Anonymous said...

It should be WERE, since you're referring to two things.

For instance...

John WAS here.

John and Jane WERE here.

Dinner WAS great.

Dinner and the movie WERE great.

IS/WAS can only be used with a single entity.

WAS/WERE have to be used when you're talking about two or more items.

fixyourthinking said...

so is it the "and" or the plural or both that make the grammar change. I want to stress that this means nothing really ... just something I thought fellow bloggers and readers would want to help me settle a friendly debate between my girlfriend and I.

Anonymous said...

Example where "and" may not fit the rule:

"The dinner and movie was a nice gesture, but he could have tried harder to impress her."

roget said... was the pizza and dessert any good?

fixyourthinking said...

it did taste well

Anonymous said...

"a friendly debate between my girlfriend and I"

I'm afraid you're not going to win any grammatical debates with that kind of wording. The correct phrase would be "a friendly debate between my girlfriend and me."