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Which is correct grammatically?

Sein Haus und Garten ist schön.

Sein Haus und Garten sind schön.

I tend to think the former is correct by taking Sein Haus und Garten as a singular subject. Is this right?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The latter is correct. Haus und Garten refer to two tings so that is plural; as simple as that.

Note: The sentence is shortened. You could extend it to

Sein Haus und sein Garten sind schön.

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What about when adding auch? Sein Haus und auch sein Garten sind schön? –  user5513 Jun 8 at 4:09
1  
What about Euer Gold und Silber ist verrostet, und sein Rost wird euch zum Zeugnis sein ... (Jakobus 5:3-13, Lutheran translation)? –  Frank Seifert Jun 8 at 7:17
    
Gold kann aber nicht verrosten!! :-) –  stevenvh Jun 8 at 10:03
    
@stevenvh: Wenn du es warm genug machst... –  Raphael Jun 8 at 11:13

There is an old german song that goes...

"Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht"

even there it´s wrong, because it must be

"Marmor, Stein und Eisen brechen"

in colloquial language you actually hear that a lot. So if you make a mistake when talking to somebody, most german people won´t even notice. But it´s still not right to use the singular here.

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On the subject: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singularis_materialis –  Frank Seifert Jun 8 at 10:24

Like marstato says, you're talking about more than one object, so the plural applies:

Sein Haus(1) und Garten(2) sind schön.

OTOH if you say

Sein Haus mit Garten ist schön.

then "Haus mit Garten" becomes a single object, and then the singular applies.



Note: a common error in many languages is to use the plural form also for "a number" or "a lot":

There are a number of options.

(Can somebody make this an example in German?) This is wrong. There may be many things (plural), but "a number" is singular. The correct form is

There is a number of options.

You don't say

Da sind eine Dose mit Murmeln.

either, do you?

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