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Subject-Verb Agreement. NEC FACET Center. Remember this rule,. The subject and verb should always agree. We ALWAYS agree. I’m Sally Subject. I’m Vernon Verb. And these 6 sub-rules!. 1. If a subject ends in an “s,” the verb will not.

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Subject verb agreement

Subject-Verb Agreement

NEC FACET Center


Remember this rule
Remember this rule,

  • The subject and verb should always agree

We ALWAYS agree

I’m Sally Subject.

I’m Vernon Verb.


And these 6 sub rules
And these 6 sub-rules!

  • 1. If a subject ends in an “s,” the verb will not.

    If a subject does not end in an “s,” the verb will.

  • 2. Even when words come in between the subject and verb, they should

    both agree.

  • 3. When joining two or more subjects with and, use a plural verb.

  • 4. When joining two or more subjects with neither/nor, either/or, or,

    and nor, use a verb that agrees with the nearer or nearest subject.

  • 5. Collective nouns (a group of individuals or things) use either singular

    or plural verbs depending upon the context.

  • 6. Even if a sentence is inverted, the subject should agree with the

    verb.


Definitions
Definitions

  • Subject-

    • The word/s that name the topic of the sentence

    • The word/s that the sentence is about

  • Verb-

    • The word that states the action or state of the subject

  • Subject-Verb Agreement-

    • The appropriate pairing of subject and verb based on whether the subject and verb are plural or singular and whether the person is first, second, or third.


How to check s v agreement
How to check S-V agreement

  • Identify the verb (action or state of being word)

  • Identify the subject (who or what the sentence is about)

  • Check whether the subject is plural or singular or special. Then check whether is it first, second, or third person.

  • Based on your findings about the subject, make sure the verb fits.


Identifying the verb
Identifying the Verb

  • Ask which word shows action or relationship to the verb.

    • The dog jumps over the fence.

    • Stephanie and Bethany have names that rhyme.

    • Everybody came to JoAnn’s party.

    • Did you see the shirt she wore?

    • That house is so dilapidated.


Conjugating a verb
Conjugating a verb

  • For present tense, generally add an –s or –es for third person singular. Otherwise, add nothing to the verb.



Identifying the subject
Identifying the Subject

  • Ask who or what the sentence is about.

    • The dog jumps over the fence.

    • Stephanie and Bethany have names that rhyme.

    • Everybody came to JoAnn’s party.

    • Did you see the shirt she wore?

    • That house is so dilapidated.


Rule 1
Rule # 1

  • 1. If a subject ends in an “s,” the verb will not.

    If a subject does not end in an “s,” the verb will.

I’m Sally Subject, and I’m single.

Hi Sally. I’m Vernon Verb, and I am single.

If I’m single, Vernon Verb better be too.


Rule 1 agreement
Rule #1: Agreement

  • Singular subjects need singular verbs.

    • Singular subjects include the following:

      • I, you, he, she, it, dog, house, etc.

    • I eat. You eat. She eats.

    • You have ears. She has ears. The dog has ears.

  • Plural subjects need plural verbs.

    • Plural subjects include the following:

      • We, they, dogs, houses, etc.

    • We eat. They eat. The dogs eat.

    • We have ears. They have ears. The houses do not have ears.


Rule 1 practice singular and plural subjects
Rule #1Practice: Singular and Plural Subjects

  • My hair suffer/suffers from the terrible humidity.

  • Their hairstyles look/looks the same.

  • Jodi is/are my closest confidant.

  • The FACET Center is/are my favorite place to be.

  • Fast food employees smile/smiles when they see me coming.


Rule 1 some exceptions special subjects words that end in s
Rule #1(some exceptions)Special Subjects: words that end in -s

  • Some words that end in –s are singular.

    • The news sometimes makes my head hurt.

    • Mathematics is my favorite subject.

  • Some words that end in –s are plural because they have more than one part.

    • The scissors cut through paper easily.

    • The pants are brand-spanking-new.


Rule 1 some exceptions special subjects indefinite pronouns
Rule #1 (some exceptions)Special Subjects: indefinite pronouns

  • Indefinite pronouns do not refer to a specific person or item.

    • Ex. Everyone, anyone, each, either, everybody, someone, nothing, one, nobody, neither, anything

  • Always singular

    • Anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, neither, nobody, no one, none, nothing, one, somebody, someone, something

  • Always plural

    • Both, few, many, several

  • Sometimes singular, sometimes plural

    • Some, any, all, most


Rule 2
Rule #2

  • 2. Even when words come in between the subject and verb, they should both agree.

Please don’t separate us!

But if you do, we’ll still agree.


Rule 2 separated subject and verb
Rule #2Separated subject and verb

  • The subject and verb should always agree, no matter how many words are separating them!

    • Billy, the master carpenter, charges exorbitant prices.

      • Billy is the subject. “Charges” agrees with “Billy.”

    • Billy, along with all of his co-workers, charges exorbitant prices.

      • Billy is still the subject. “Charges” agrees with “Billy.”

    • Did you know that Billy, my best friend ever of all of my carpenter friends, doesn’t charge me at all?

      • Billy is still the subject. “Doesn’t” agrees with “Billy.”


Rule 3
Rule #3

  • When joining two or more subjects with and, use a plural verb.

Hey Sally!

Meet my sister, Stephanie Subject.


Rule 3 compound subjects
Rule #3Compound Subjects

  • A compound subject occurs when two or more subjects are grouped using a conjunction (such as and, nor, or).

  • Usually compound subjects are plural.

    • Tom and Sally eat food.

    • Neither the horse nor the mule want to graze on muggy days.


Rule 3 compound subjects cont
Rule #3Compound Subjects Cont.

  • Compound subjects are singular when

    • they refer to the same idea/entity

      • My most stable friend and my only means to independence is my car.

        • *Friend and means to independence are both referring to the car.

      • NOT My most stable friend and my only means to independence are my car.

    • they are considered one unit

    • they are preceded by “each” or “every”

      • Each house, trailer, and apartment serves as someone’s home.

      • NOT Each house, trailer, and apartment serve as someone’s home.


Rule 4
Rule #4

  • When joining two or more subjects with neither/nor, either/or, or,and nor, use a verb that agrees with the nearer or nearest subject.

No, Stephanie. Vernon and I agree. He’s closer to me.

But Vernon…

Either Sally or Stephanie will agree with Vernon, whoever’s closest.


Rule 4 examples neither nor either or
Rule #4Examples: Neither, nor, either, or

  • Neither the counselor nor the parents know what to do with Billy Bob.

    • know agrees with parents, not counselor

  • The receptionist or the tutors try to help you.

    • Try agrees with tutors, not receptionist

  • Either the dogs or the cat defend the house when the humans are away.

    • Defend agrees with cat, not dog


Rule 5
Rule #5

  • Collective nouns (a group of individuals or things) use either singular or plural verbs depending upon the context.


Rule 5 special subjects collective nouns
Rule #5Special Subjects: collective nouns

  • Collective nouns refer to a group.

    • Ex. team, audience, staff, herd, class, majority

  • Generally, collective nouns are singular.

    • Ex. The team wins.

    • Ex. The class cheers when the teacher announces no homework.

  • Collective nouns may be plural when referring to its members as individuals.

    • The staff were complaining about the influx of paperwork.

    • *To clarify the sentence, you may add a modifier.


  • Rule 6
    Rule #6

    • Even if a sentence is inverted, the subject should agree with the verb.


    Rule 6 subjects after the verb
    Rule #6Subjects after the verb

    • When the subject follows the verb, the two must still agree.

      • There is an incredible amount of food under my bed.

        • is agrees with amount

      • There are many food items under my bed.

        • are agrees with food items

      • Waiting on the Dr. Phil’s desk to be graded was a stack of papers ten feet high.

        • was agrees with stack

      • Waiting on Dr. Phil’s desk to be graded were papers stacked ten feet high.

        • were agrees with papers


    Practice
    Practice!

    • The dogs howl/howls at night.

    • The desk stay/stays messy, despite how much we hope it will clean itself.

    • The students who always wear sunglasses in class smell/smells like sunscreen today.

    • Melissa and Joan love/loves watching Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

    • The blank worksheets and the teacher’s edition remain/remains in my bag at all times.


    More practice
    More Practice!

    • Neither the math tutor nor the English tutors want/wants to play in the puddle today.

    • Either the English tutors or the math tutor play/plays hopscotch on the weekends.

    • The team win/wins every game.

    • The family speak/speaks in turn as each name is called.

    • “Open the door,” say/says Timmy every time he comes near an automatic door.

    • Off fly/flies the papers as the door swooshes open.


    Just remember sally and vernon always agree
    Just remember, Sally and Vernon always agree.

    Bye, Vernon!

    See you later, Sally!


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