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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Verbs should agree in number with its subject:
He washes the dishes
Rachel plays basketball for Cape Fear Academy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]
E1: All of the exhibit is open to the public.
E1: All of the paintings are on display.
E1: George Lucas and Steven Spielberg make movies.
E1: My pen pal and best friend is my cousin.
E2: Macaroni and cheese makes a tasty dish.
E1: Neither the coach nor the principal is happy with the team’s performance.
E2: After dinner, either Anne or Tony loads the dishwasher.
E1: Either the boys or the girls take the garbage out.
E2: Neither the dogs nor the cats come when we call them.
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.
All singular subjects
All singular pronouns except for ‘I’ and ‘you’
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.]
Amounts of things (measurement, percentage, fractions) are singular or plural, depending on usage.
E1: Two hours is a long time to wait.
E2: Two hours- one before school and one after- are all I have for practice.
Thinking of things as individual portions:
E1: Three fourths of the pizza is gone.
E2: Of these songs, three fourths are new.
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.
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.