Why do we say, for example:

Zustimmung und Ablehnung ist sehr wichtig.

Shouldn't we use sind because this is plural?

This has been confusing me because a teacher said it on a Youtube video.


1 Answer 1


Both sentences are possible.

Zustimmung und Ablehnung ist sehr wichtig

Zustimmung und Ablehnung sind sehr wichtig

In the first sentence, "Zustimmung and Ablehnung" are regarded as a unit. This is known as 'synesis' in linguistics.

In the second sentence, they are viewed separately.

  • First example is joining both, hence being singular. Second example is a list, hence plural.
    – AmigoJack
    Aug 17, 2020 at 1:30
  • 1
    This subtly changes the semantics of the sentence as well - if you use singular you treat both as a unit with a unified importance, whereas the plural implies that both are each important on their own. This is not a big difference, but might lead to native speakers intuitively preferring one over the other depending on context.
    – Falco
    Aug 17, 2020 at 9:48

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