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Subject/Verb Agreement. Verbs should agree in number with its subject: ‘S’ Rule: Singular subjects= verbs that end in ‘s’ Plural subjects= verbs do not end in ‘s’ Ex: Singular : He washe s the dishes Rachel play s basketball for Cape Fear Academy. Subject/Verb Agreement.

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subject verb agreement
Subject/Verb Agreement

Verbs should agree in number with its subject:

  • ‘S’ Rule:
    • Singular subjects= verbs that end in ‘s’
    • Plural subjects= verbs do not end in ‘s’

Ex: Singular:

He washes the dishes

Rachel plays basketball for Cape Fear Academy.

subject verb agreement1
Subject/Verb Agreement

-Plural:

They wash the dishes.

Rachel and Maddieplay basketball for CFA.

Note: The ‘S’ Rule applies to linking verbs as well.

Singular: Ann is backpacking in Nevada.

Plural: All of my friends were late.

subject verb agreement2
Subject/Verb Agreement
  • These pictures (show, shows) how noodles are prepared.
  • First, the noodle maker (roll, rolls) out the dough as thin as possible.
  • Then, the cook (slice, slices) the folded layers.
  • Next, the strands of noodles (is, are) separated and dusted with flour to prevent sticking.
subject verb agreement3
Subject/Verb Agreement
  • After the noodles have dried a little, they (go, goes) into boiling water or broth to cook.
  • The Japanese (enjoy, enjoys) noodles made from either wheat flour or buckwheat flour.
  • A dish of cooked noodles mixed with sauce, broth, fish, or vegetables (makes, make) a popular lunch.
subject verb agreement4
Subject/Verb Agreement
  • Noodle shops all over Japan (serves, serve) a variety of noodle dishes.
  • These shops often (resemble, resembles) fast-food restaurants in the United States.
  • For lunch or a snack, customers at a noodle shop (order, orders) noodles with their favorite toppings.
s v agreement and prepositional phrases
S/V Agreement and Prepositional Phrases

Finding a subject and verb in a simple sentence is relatively easy; it may become more difficult in more complex sentences.

Therefore, remember the following: Subjects and verbs are never found in PP’s.

If you encounter confusion, the easiest way to uncover the subject and verb in a sentence is to eliminate the prepositional phrases.

s v agreement and prepositional phrases1
S/V Agreement and Prepositional Phrases

E1: Most of the women voted.

Most of the women voted.

The subject? Most, not women. Women cannot be the subject of this sentence because it is in a PP.

E2: One of the parakeets in the pet shop looks like ours.

One of the parakeets in the pet shop looks like ours.

s v agreement and prepositional phrases2
S/V Agreement and Prepositional Phrases

E3: Are two of the books missing?

Are two of the books missing?

E4: Around the corner from our house is a store.

Around the corner from our house is a store.

s v agreement and indefinite pronouns
S/V Agreement and Indefinite Pronouns

Singular Indefinite Pronouns

E1: Each of the athletes runs effortlessly.

E2: Neither of the women is ready to start.

Plural Indefinite Pronouns

E1: Were both of the games postponed?

E2: Few that I know of have qualified.

s v agreement and indefinite pronouns1
S/V Agreement and Indefinite Pronouns

Depends upon meaning

E1: Someof the test is hard. [Some refers to the singular noun test.]

E2: Someof the questions are easy. [Some refers to the plural noun questions.]

s v agreement and indefinite pronouns2
S/V Agreement and Indefinite Pronouns

Singular:

E1: All of the exhibit is open to the public.

Plural:

E1: All of the paintings are on display.

s v agreement and indefinite pronouns3
S/V Agreement and Indefinite Pronouns
  • Each of the comedians (tries, try) to outdo the other.
  • Somebody on the bus (was, were) whistling.
  • (Is, Are) all of the apples spoiled?
  • Neither of these books (has, have) an index
  • (Do, Does) everybody in the class have a pencil?
s v agreement and indefinite pronouns4
S/V Agreement and Indefinite Pronouns
  • Few of these jobs (sound, sounds) challenging.
  • (Is, Are) more of the vendors in the market?
  • She said that no one in the office (leaves, leave) early.
  • Both of her parents (has, have) offered us a ride.
  • (Do, Does) most of the CDs belong to her?
s v agreement and the compound subject
S/V Agreement and the Compound Subject
  • Subjects joined by and generally take a plural verb.

E1: George Lucas and Steven Spielberg make movies.

  • Compound subjects that name only one thing take a singular verb.

E1: My pen pal and best friend is my cousin.

E2: Macaroni and cheese makes a tasty dish.

s v agreement and the compound subject1
S/V Agreement and the Compound Subject
  • Singular subjects joined by OR or NOR= singular verb

E1: Neither the coach nor the principal is happy with the team’s performance.

E2: After dinner, either Anne or Tony loads the dishwasher.

s v agreement and the compound subject2
S/V Agreement and the Compound Subject
  • Plural subjects joined by OR or NOR = plural verb.

E1: Either the boys or the girls take the garbage out.

E2: Neither the dogs nor the cats come when we call them.

s v agreement and the compound subject3
S/V Agreement and the Compound Subject

When a singular subject and a plural subject are joined by OR or NOR, the verb agrees with the subject nearer the verb.

E1: Neither the children nor their mother was ready for the trip.

E2: Neither the mother nor her children were ready for the trip.

final issues in s v agreement
Final Issues in S/V Agreement

Don’t

Doesn’t

Use with:

All singular subjects

All singular pronouns except for ‘I’ and ‘you’

Use with:

  • All plural subjects
  • I
  • You
final issues in s v agreement1
Final Issues in S/V Agreement
  • Collective nouns may either be singular or plural, depending on its usage in the sentence.

E1: The jury is ready. [The jury is seen as one collective unit.]

E2: The jury are still arguing among themselves. [The jury is split apart into separate members.]

final issues in s v agreement2
Final Issues in S/V Agreement

Amounts of things (measurement, percentage, fractions) are singular or plural, depending on usage.

  • Thinking of things as units:

E1: Two hours is a long time to wait.

E2: Two hours- one before school and one after- are all I have for practice.

final issues in s v agreement3
Final Issues in S/V Agreement

Thinking of things as individual portions:

E1: Three fourths of the pizza is gone.

E2: Of these songs, three fourths are new.

final issues in s v agreement4
Final Issues in S/V Agreement
  • Some nouns that are plural in form take singular verbs.

E1: Politics is a controversial topic.

E2: The news of the nominee was a surprise.

E3: Rickets is a serious health problem in some countries.

final issues in s v agreement5
Final Issues in S/V Agreement

Even when plural in form, the title of a creative work, the name of an organization, or the name of a country or city generally takes a singular verb.

E1: The United Nations was founded in 1945.

E2: White Plains is home to several colleges.

E3: “Greensleeves” is an old English folk song.

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