* Subject Verb Agreement Remember that the subject and verb in a a sentence must agree in person and number. E.g. - The elevator works very well singular singular - The elevators work very well singular singular *Subject separated From the verb
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* Subject Verb Agreement
Remember that the subject and verb in a a
sentence must agree in person and number.
E.g. - The elevatorworks very well
- The elevatorswork very well
*Subject separated From the verb
Always check the subject and verb to be sure they
agree. However, sometimes it is difficult to decide
exactly what the subject is, If the subject and verb
e.g. The boys in the room are studying
Very often, if the subject and verb are separated,
they will be separated by a prepositional phrase.
The prepositional phrase has no effect on
Subject + (prepositional phrase) + Verb
e.g. – The study of languages is very interesting
singular (s)singular (v)
- The effects of the crime are likely to be
plural (s) plural (v)
The following expressions also have no effect
on the verb
Together withalong with
accompanied byas well as
e.g. - The actress, along with her manager
and some friends, is going to a party.
Note: If the conjunction and is used instead of one of these phrase, the verb would then be plural.
e.g. – The actress and her managerare going to the
Plural (s) plural (v)
*Words that always take singular verb and pronouns
The following words must be followed by singular
verbs and pronouns in formal written English.
Any+singular noun some+singular noun everyeach
Anybodynobody somebody everybodyeither*
Anyoneno one someone everyoneneither*
Anythingnothing something everything
*Either and neither are singular if they are not used with or and no.
e.g. – Somethingwas under the house
- If either of you takes a vacation now, we will
not be able to finish the work
- Nobodyworks harder than John does.
None can take either a singular or plural verb depending
on the noun which follows it
None + of the + non-count noun + singular (v)
e.g. None of the counterfeit moneyhas been found.
None + of the + plural count noun + plural (v)
e.g. None of the studentshave finished the exam yet.
No can take either a singular or plural verb depending
on the noun which follows it.
No + singular noun non count noun + singular verb
e.g. Noexampleis relevant to this case
No + plural noun + plural verb
e.g. Noexamplesare relevant to this case.
When either and neither are followed by or and nor
the verb may be singular or plural depending on
whether the noun following, or and nor is singular or
plural if or and nor appears alone.
neither/either + noun + nor/or + plural (n) + plural (v)
e.g. Neither john nor his friendsare going to the
plural (n)plural (v)
Neither/either + noun + nor/or + singular (n) + singular (v)
e.g. Neither John nor Billis going to the beach
singular (n) singular (v)
*Gerunds as subjects
If sentence begins with (verb + ing) the verb must be singular.
e.g. Dietingis very popular today.
Writing many letters makes her happy.
Knowing her has made him what he is
Also many words indicating a number of people or animals are
singular. The following are usually singular.
*Majority can be singular or plural. If it is alone it is
usually singular if it is followed by plural noun it is
e.g. The majority believes that we are in no danger
Examples of collective nouns:
The following nouns are used to indicate groups of certain
animals. It is not necessary to learn the nouns; however, they
mean the same as group and thus are considered singular.
Flock of birdschool of fish
Herd of cattlepride of lions
Pack of dogs
e.g. The flock of birds is circling overhead
A school of fish is being attacked by shark
Collective nouns indicating time, money, and measurements
used as a whole are singular
e.g. - Twenty-five dollarsis too much to pay for that
- Two milesis too much to run in one day
*A Number of/the number of
A number of + plural noun + plural verb
e.g. A number ofstudentsare going the class picnic.
The number of + plural noun + singular verb
e.g. The number ofdays in a week is seven.
Nouns that always plural: The following nouns are always
considered plural. They cannot be singular. In order to speak
of them as singular, one must say: “a pair of ________”
e.g. The pantsare in the drawer
A pair of pantsis in the drawer
*There is/there are: Remember that with
sentences beginning with the existential there,
the subject is actually after the verb.
There are + singular subject (non count)
There has been
e.g. There isa storm approaching
There waswater on the floor where he fell
There were+ plural subject
There have been
e.g. - there weretoo many people at the party
- there have beena number of telephone calls
Choose the correct form of the verb in the following sentence.
e.g. The army (has/have) eliminated this section of the training test.
1. Neither Bill nor Mary (is/are) going to the play tonight.
2. Anything (is/are) better than going to another movie tonight.
3. A number of reporters (was/were) at the conference yesterday.
4. Your glasses (was/were) on the bureau last night.
5. Skating (is/are) becoming more popular every day.
6. There (was/were) some people at the meeting last night.
7. The committee (has/have) already reached a decision.
8. A pair of jeans (was/were) in the washing machine this morning.
9. Each student (has/have) answered the first three questions.
10. A pack of wild dogs (has/have) frightened all the ducks away.