Alternative Subjects

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A. When two subjects that share a verb are linked by or, nor, or but (also), the verb agrees with whichever part is closest.


1. Either/or

Either Bob or the Joneses customarily dance at the festival.

Either the Joneses or Bob customarily dances at the festival


2. Neither/nor

Neither my rights nor my reputation was considered.

Neither my reputation nor my rights were considered.


3. Not (only)/But (also)

Not hard work but sponsors guarantee one a good position in life.

Not only Bob but also his sisters like jazz.