General Writing and Grammar Help/Vanish or vanishes

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is it "It's been said that she approaches every lost soul who cannot find peace, and suddenly, all their pain and suffering VANISHES" or "It's been said that she approaches every lost soul who cannot find peace, and suddenly, all their pain and suffering VANISH"?

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

It should be "all their pain and suffering VANISH."

Some people feel that "pain and suffering" is a phrase that means ONE thing, and the singular verb "vanishes" is correct.

I do not think that way, but if I wrote it, then I made a mistake.

Sorry.

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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