bacon and egg is or are ? grammar

@Manasha (2020)
Pondicherry, India
March 6, 2013 11:32pm CST
I came across a sentence namely Bacon and egg remains the breakfast of choice for millions of north Americans. However, the above sentence has singular subjects bacon and egg. My doubt is why they are considered singular but not plural subjects. Because we have two subjects. Pl share your thoughts Whether we can say Bacon and egg remain instead of remains.
4 responses
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
7 Mar 13
If you make a sentence 'Bacon and egg is his breakfast ' then it is considered as a singular unit and it takes a singular verb. On the other hand, you buy bacon in one shop and egg in another shop and make a sentence "the bacon and egg that I bought were good” here the two objects are spoken of as two different entities and therefore they take a plural verb. The word 'egg ', once again can be treated as a countable as well as uncountable noun. “Please have some egg' or 'He bought two eggs'.
1 person likes this
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
7 Mar 13
Bacon' 'Bread' are all uncountable nouns ; you cannot say 'a bacon' or 'a bread'.It can be a 'slice/chunk of bacon' or 'a loaf of bread.'Slices/chunks of bacon 'would be the plural; similarly' loaves of bread 'should be the plural.
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@owlwings (38306)
• Cambridge, England
7 Mar 13
More concisely explained than mine (therefore easier to understand!)
@owlwings (38306)
• Cambridge, England
7 Mar 13
Bacon is actually a collective noun. You cannot say 'a bacon' or 'one bacon', you have to use 'a piece of' or 'a slice of'. Even so, this doesn't answer your question properly. The way it is working is that the phrase 'bacon and egg' refers to the name of a dish and, as a whole, the dish considered in the singular. The sentence's main focus is 'the breakfast of choice' (a singular noun) and it is a logical answer to the question: "What is the breakfast of choice ...?"
@owlwings (38306)
• Cambridge, England
7 Mar 13
As a matter of fact, even most native English speakers would not be consistent. If the name of the dish were "bacon and eggs" (on the grounds that most people would have two eggs), there would be an almost irresistible temptation to make the verb plural because the word immediately preceding it would be plural. You would quite likely hear "Bacon and eggs remain the breakfast of choice ...". In this case it is much more a matter of 'what sounds right' rather than 'what is right'. "Eggs and bacon is a good breakfast" is 'correct' (I don't think anyone would say "Eggs and bacon are a good breakfast") BUT the same person would say "Eggs and bacon are [both] a good source of protein." In the first case one is referring to the components of a breakfast, in the second case, one is speaking of a number of items as a collection and therefore in the plural.
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
7 Mar 13
"Eggs and bacon are [both] a good source of protein." owlwings--Explained very well! Good sentence .
• United States
7 Mar 13
I think it would be bacon and egg remains. I mean this is a confusing topic. I feel like i should have payed more attention in english to answer your question. My friend would probably be able to help you. But they aren't a mylotter like us... Anyway to help you out here. I say remains. bacon and egg remains. It sounds better to me.
@owlwings (38306)
• Cambridge, England
7 Mar 13
Things like this are very often not covered in English classes. Either the topic doesn't come up in the syllabus or the teacher will try to avoid it because trying to explain exceptions in language is a real minefield! It's important to remember that the language came first. Rules of grammar and syntax were formulated afterwards from an observation of what usually happens. Grammar is really just a 'learning tool'. No native speaker is aware of it (though some people learn how to parse what they say after they have learnt to speak the language fluently). People learning English as a second language learn it (usually) in a quite different way to the way that an English child learns it!
@devideddi (1437)
• United States
7 Mar 13
The bacon and the eggs are doing one thing, remaining. So I'm thinking that's what the singular status is based on, the verb not the subject.