Date and Time: Plural or Singular?

Is the phrase “date and time” plural or singular?

If you Google this question, you’ll get a number of conflicting answers, so I will simply offer my best thoughts on the subject.

On the surface, when someone asks you to verify a date and time, or suggests one, it seems logical to some of us to say that “the date and time are” because they seem to be two separate items. Wouldn’t we say “the man and woman are…” or “the table and couches are…”?

But the phrase “date and time” is becoming a singular item in our thoughts and communications, and it’s fine now to say “the date and time is…”.

Think of it this way: The date is the broader term, and the time is a subset of the date; the time is set within the date. So we are expressing a single moment— a time that happens to be set within a certain date, and this is therefore a single entity.

English is such a fluid language, and we must realize we’re in the middle of a transition from a plural to a singular. (Some folks are used to considering them as two separate entities, so they will continue to use the plural. Be kind to them.)

But for the rest of us—the date and time is….!

My thanks to Clint Morgan and his daughter Michelle for this wonderful suggestion!

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