Subject verb agreement
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Subject-Verb Agreement. What Is It?. Definition – Making the verb agree with the person and number of the subject. A singular noun should be accompanied by a singular verb. A plural noun needs a plural verb. Rules – Things to Ignore….

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Subject-Verb Agreement

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Subject verb agreement

Subject-Verb Agreement


What is it

What Is It?

Definition – Making the verb agree with the person and number of the subject.

  • A singular noun should be accompanied by a singular verb.

  • A plural noun needs a plural verb.


Rules things to ignore

Rules – Things to Ignore…

  • Ignore any phrases between the simple subject and the verb or verb phrase.

  • Ignore the predicate noun that has a different number.

  • Ignore the word “there” when it is in the position that the subject usually appears in.


Rules things to be careful with

Rules – Things to be Careful With…

  • Nouns that have only have a plural form.

    • “News” – The news is goodtoday.

    • “Pliers” – The pliers are over there.

    • However, when words such as pliers follow the phrase “a pair of,” pair is now the subject, and the verb must agree with the number of pairs.

  • Collective Nouns.

    • They normally take a singular verb.

    • However, if the focus of the sentence is clearly on the individuals in the group, then the verb is plural.


Rules things to be careful with1

Rules – Things to be Careful With…

  • Words that can be singular or plural, depending on the words that modify them

    • All, any, more, most, part, some, half (other fractions as well), and percent.

    • If the word is followed by an of-phrase that is singular, it requires a singular verb.

    • If the word is followed by an of-phrase that is plural, it requires a plural verb.

  • Example.

    Part of the testwas an essay.

    Part of the clotheswere ready to be packed.


Rules things to be careful with2

Rules – Things to be Careful With…

  • Titles, quotations, and amounts should be singular. These are treated as one unit.

  • Relative Pronouns. These pronouns do not change form for singular and plural. However, when used, the verb should agree with their antecedent.

  • Compound Subjects.

    • Compound subjects that are joined by and are normally plural.

    • When a compound subject is joined by or, the subject named closest to the verb decides the verb form.

      • He and I are going to the store.

      • Either he or I am going to the store.


Examples incorrect

Examples – Incorrect

  • The office door were closed yesterday.

  • She and I am going to the mall.

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were written by Mark Twain.

  • There was many people at the party.

  • The team were traveling from Georgia.


Examples correct

Examples - Correct

  • The office door was closed yesterday.

  • She and I are going to the mall.

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written by Mark Twain.

  • There were many people at the party.

  • The team was traveling from Georgia.


Practice

Practice

  • Each of my brothers (wants, want) to join the Navy after graduating from high school.

  • There (is, are) a row of weeds where the corn is supposed to be growing.

  • Preparation and wisdom, never blind confidence, (assures, assure) anyone a fair chance at success.

  • As the audience (take, takes) their places, some of the candidates go to the platform.

  • Dad, Mom, Ron, and I (was, were) trying to decide where to eat to celebrate Dad’s promotion.


Answers

Answers

  • Each of my brothers wants to join the Navy after graduating from high school.

  • There is a row of weeds where the corn is supposed to be growing

  • Preparation and wisdom, never blind confidence, assure anyone a fair chance at success.

  • As the audience take their places, some of the candidates go to the platform.

  • Dad, Mom, Ron, and I were trying to decide where to eat to celebrate Dad’s promotion.


Thanks to

Thanks To…

The definitions and examples used in this presentation are from:

English Handbook. BJU Press.

Writer’s Choice, Composition and Grammar. “Grammar Reteaching.” Grade level 9, 1993 edition.


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