Neither/Nor and Singular/Plural

When using “neither” and “nor,” do you use the plural or singular form of the subject? Neither soil nor groundwater were/ was impacted by the spill. I feel like the plural sounds better, but before I correct a colleague, want to make sure I’m right! Thanks
Jeffrey A., Westfield, MA

Answer: Here is the straightforward rule: When a compound subject is joined by “either- or” or “neither-nor,” the verb agrees with the part of the subject closer to it. Correct: Neither soil nor groundwater was impacted by the spill.

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