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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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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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