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Subject Verb Agreement . Ch. 5. Agreement of Subject and Verb. A verb should agree in number with its subject. Singular subjects take singular verbs, and plural subjects take plural verbs. In a verb phrase, the first helping verb agrees in number with the subject

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agreement of subject and verb
Agreement of Subject and Verb
  • A verb should agree in number with its subject. Singular subjects take singular verbs, and plural subjects take plural verbs.
  • In a verb phrase, the first helping verb agrees in number with the subject
    • A boy in my class has been delivering newspapers.
  • A gerund phrase or infinitive phrase used as a complete subject takes a singular verb
    • Working with youhas been a privilege.
agreement of subject and verb1
Agreement of Subject and Verb
  • The number of a subject usually is not determined by a word in a phrase or clause following the subject
    • Singular – A book of poems is on the shelf.
    • Plural – His skills, together with his humor, have enabled him to become successful.
  • A negative construction following the subject does not change the number of the subject
    • Carl, not John and I, is doing the artwork.
indefinite pronouns
Indefinite Pronouns
  • Indefinite pronouns- refer to a person, place, thing or idea that may not be specifically named.
  • The following indefinite pronouns are singular: anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, somebody, someone, and something.
    • Neither of the animals has been fed this morning.
indefinite pronouns1
Indefinite pronouns
  • The following indefinite pronouns are plural: both, few, many, and several
    • A few in the crowd were rowdy.
  • The following indefinite pronouns may be either singular or plural, depending on how they are used: all, any, more, most, none, and some
    • Singular – Most of the job was finished. (refers to singular noun job)
    • Plural – Most of the jobs were finished. (refers to plural noun job)
    • In these examples, the object of the prepositional phrase following the indefinite pronoun gives a clue to the number of the pronoun.
indefinite pronouns2
Indefinite pronouns
  • In a sentence that does not include a phrase after a subject, you must find the number of the noun to which the pronoun refers; make sure the verb has the same number as the antecedent
    • Most was interesting. (Most may be referring to a portion of a book, movie, etc. You need to use context to figure this out.
    • Most were interesting. (Again, most may be referring to a number of books, things, etc.)
compound subjects
Compound Subjects
  • A compound subject consists of two or more subjects that are joined by a conjunction and that have the same verb
  • Subjects joined by and generally take a plural verb
    • Her brother, her uncle, and her cousin are teachers.
compound subjects1
Compound subjects
  • Subjects joined by and that name only one person, thing, etc., take singular verbs. Singular compound nouns containing and also take singular verbs.
    • The club’s secretaryand treasurer was Edwardo. (one person)
    • Country and western has become our favorite kind of music.
compound subjects2
Compound subjects
  • Singular subjects joined by orornor take a singular verb; plural subjects joined by orornor take a plural verb
    • Mark or Donnaknows the address.
    • Neither our phone nor our doorbell was working.
  • When a singular subject and a plural subject are joined by or ornor, the verb agrees with the subject nearer the verb
    • Neither the potatoes nor the roast is done.
special problems in subject verb agreement collective nouns
Special problems in subject verb agreement – Collective nouns
  • Collective nouns may be either singular or plural, depending on their meaning in a sentence.
  • Collective nouns – noun whose singular form names a group.
    • Examples – army, committee, team, troop (pg. 120)
special problems in subject verb agreement collective nouns1
Special problems in subject verb agreement – Collective nouns
  • A collective noun is singular when it refers to the group as a unit. It is plural when it refers to the individual members or parts of the group.
    • Singular – The class has met its teacher. (the class as a unit)
    • Plural – The class were disagreeing with one another. (the class as individuals)
    • Singular – The team is on the field.
    • Plural – The team are working together.
special s v agreement problems
Special s/v agreement problems
  • A verb agrees with its subject but not necessarily with a predicate nominative.
    • The main ingredient in salsa is tomatoes.
  • When the subject follows the verb, find the subject and make sure the verb agrees with it.
    • In sentences begin with here or there and in questions, the subject generally follows the verb.
    • Here is a set of keys.
    • Do they know the price?
special s v agreement problems1
Special s/v agreement problems
  • A contraction such as here’s or how’s includes the singular verb is or has. Use a contraction like this only when a singular subject follows it.
    • Incorrect – There’s several photos of the memorial in the magazine.
    • Correct – There are several photos of the memorial in the magazine.
special s v agreement problems2
Special s/v agreement problems
  • An expression of an amount (a measurement, percentage, or fraction) may be singular or plural, depending on how it is used. Pg. 123-124
    • Amount – singular when thought of as a unit, plural when thought of as separate parts
    • Fraction/percentage – singular when a single word, plural when a plural word
    • Measurement – generally singular
special s v agreement problems3
Special s/v agreement problems
  • When the relative pronoun that, which, or who is the subject of an adjective clause, the verb in the clause agrees with the word to which the pronoun refers
    • Example – The Merrymount Dancers is a group of ballet dancers that perform together. (that refers to the plural noun dancers and uses plural verb perform)
  • A subject preceded by every or manya(an) takes a singular verb.
    • Every parent is looking on with pride.
special s v agreement problems4
Special s/v agreement problems
  • The contractions don’t and doesn’t should agree with their subjects
    • Use don’t with the subjects you and I and all plural subjects
    • Use doesn’t with all singular subjects except I and you
  • Some nouns that are plural in form take singular verbs – list on page 126. Examples include civics, economics, news, physics, genetics
special s v agreement problems5
Special s/v agreement problems
  • Even when plural in form, the title of a creative work (such as a book, song, etc.) generally takes a singular verb.
    • The Odysseyis my favorite epic poem.
  • Even when in plural form, the name of a country, a city, or an organization takes a singular verb
    • Kenoshais my hometown.
agreement of pronoun and antecedent
Agreement of pronoun and antecedent
  • A pronoun should agree in both number and gender with its antecedent
  • Use singular pronouns to refer to singular antecedents; use plural pronouns to refer to plural antecedents
    • The mountain climbers believe that they will reach the summit by Friday.
  • Some singular pronouns indicate gender-
    • Masculine- he, him, his, himself. Feminine – she, her, hers, herself. Neutral – it, its, itself
indefinite pronouns3
Indefinite pronouns
  • Indefinite pronouns agree with their antecedents according to the following rules:
    • 1. Anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, somebody, someone and something are singular
    • When you do not know the gender of the antecedent, use both the masculine and feminine pronouns, connected by or. ***
    • 2. Few, both, many, and several are plural
    • 3. All, any, more, most, none and some may be singular or plural, depending on how they are used
      • Most of these coins are rare, but I don’t know what they are worth. (they is used because most refers to the plural noun coins)
compound antecedents
Compound Antecedents
  • Pronouns agree with compound antecedents according to the following rules
    • 1. Use a plural pronoun to refer to two or more antecedents joined by and
      • The guide and the ranger wrapped their rain ponchos in their saddle rolls.
    • 2. Use a singular to refer to two or more singular antecedents joined by orornor
      • Neither Heidi nor Beth took her umbrella with her.
special problems in pronoun antecedent agreement
Special Problems in Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
  • A collective noun is singular when the noun refers to the group as a unit and plural when the noun refers to the individual members or parts of the group
    • The orchestra were tuning their instruments when the conductor arrived. (their – members were tuning separate instruments)
  • An expression of an amount (a measurement, percent or fraction) may take a singular or plural pronoun, depending on how it is used
    • Amount – singular when a unit, plural when separate parts
    • Fraction or percentage – singular when it refers to a singular word, plural when refers to a plural word
    • Measurement - singular
special problems in pronoun antecedent agreement1
Special Problems in Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
  • Some nouns that are plural in form take singular pronouns
    • List pg. 135 – civics, electronics, news, etc. take singular pronouns – look at how they are used
    • Some nouns plural in form but refer to single items take plural pronouns – binoculars, eyeglasses, shorts, etc.
    • Even when plural in form, the title of a creative work or the name of a country, city, etc, take a singular pronoun
special problems in pronoun antecedent agreement2
Special Problems in Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
  • The number of a relative pronoun (that, which or who) is determined by the number of its antecedent
    • Singular – Jessica, who always takes pride in her work, has been appointed editor.
    • Plural – All who want to volunteer their time should sign up.
easy tutorial
Easy Tutorial

Wants

Want

1. Billy _______________ to buy a new skateboard. (want, wants)

2. Those two boys _______________ to buy new skateboards. (want, wants)

3. Grandpa _______________ a hamburger for dinner. (cook, cooks)

4. Grandma and Grandpa _______________ dinner together. (cook, cooks)

5. The dogs _______________ when the mail carrier comes. (growl, growls)

Cooks

Cook

Growl

easy tutorial1

Growls

Easy Tutorial

Beep

6. The brown dog _______________ when someone comes in. (growl, growls)

7. All three computers ______________ when you turn them on. (beep, beeps)

8. That computer _______________ when you turn it on. (beep, beeps)

9. The basketball _______________ across the court. (roll, rolls)

10. Three tennis balls _______________ across the court. (roll, rolls)

Beeps

Rolls

Roll

slide26

Exercise 1 – Easy

1. A black cat (bring, brings) bad luck, according to an old superstition.

2. Young children often (protest, protests) when bedtime (roll, rolls) around.

3. My thoughts often (become, becomes) confused when I sit down to write an essay.

4. When it is hot and humid, my clothes (stick, sticks) to me.

5. A person (need, needs) to set goals if he or she wants to succeed.

slide27

Exercise 1 – Easy

6. The damages (were, was) not serious, but the cost of repairs was over a thousand dollars.

7. My head (feel, feels) as if it is about to burst.

8. Joseph (have, has) two sisters, one brother, and several pets.

9. When a tree (fall, falls) in a forest and no one is present, does it make a sound?

10. The food containers (is, are) stacked in the lower cabinet.

11. Mothers (like, likes) to see their children grow into independent adults.

12. My brother (work, works) at the Baptist Hospital as a physical therapist.

slide28

Exercise 1 – Easy

13. The little girl (have, has) a beautiful smile, even though her two front teeth (are, is) missing.

14. A kitten (open, opens) its eyes when it is about ten days old.

15. Some boys (pitch, pitches) with one hand and (bat, bats) with another.

slide29

Exercise 2 – Easy

Exercise Two: In each sentence below, circle the verb that agrees with its subject, underline the subject.

1. Marvin’s excuses for not having completed his research paper (bore, bores) me.

2. Speeding in restricted zones, especially those near schools, (endanger, endangers) lives.

3. One computer for two or three students (seem, seems) inadequate.

4. The popularity of violent movies (reflect, reflects) the values of our society.

5. Honeydews, one of the favorite melons of consumers, (taste, tastes) clean and sweet.

slide30

Exercise 2 – Easy

6. Coaches who are disciplined and who demand discipline from their players usually (have, has) winning teams.

7. The annual sales of video games in the United States probably (exceed, exceeds) abilliondollars.

8. Small amounts of tar and nicotine (damage, damages) the health of smokers.

9. Fiberglass, often used as an insulating material in homes, (cause, causes) allergic reactions in some people.

10. The women riding in the back seat of the car (was, were) not injured in the accident.

11. Animals which sleep in the day and are active at night (have, has) good night vision.

12. The students waiting in line for tickets to the concert (expect, expects) to get good seats.

slide31

Subject Verb Agreement

Begin Medium Tutorial

Easy Tutorial Completed!

delayed subjects

Exercise 2 – Medium

Delayed Subjects :

Often, the subject of a sentence will come after the verb. A simple way to identify the subject is as follows:

1. First identify the verb

2. Then ask the question "Who or what...?"

These steps may help you select the subject of most sentences.

Other points to remember:

  • The subject is never within a prepositional phrase.
  • To find the subject of a question, turn the question into a statement.
  • The words there and here are never the subjects.
delayed subjects1

Exercise 2 – Medium

Delayed Subjects :

Instructions: underline the subject once and the verb twice. Check to see if the subject and verb agree. If not, change the verb to agree with the subject.

1. There are many unverified legends about the life of Benjamin Franklin.

2. In the science building hangs the new projector screens.

3. There is almost seven million volumes in the Library of Congress.

4. How much is these bananas?

hang

are

are

delayed subjects2

Exercise 2 – Medium

Delayed Subjects :

are

5. Where are Mary's brothers?

6. There is the socks you bought for soccer practice.

7. There was thousands of people at the parade.

8. In the small pond swims four large fish.

9. There's no one left in the room.

10. In later life comes great wisdom.

were

swim

delayed subjects3

Exercise 2 – Medium

Delayed Subjects :

there are

11. There is a ninety percent chance of rain in today's forecast.

12. There’s three finalists in the speech competition.

13. From the horizon comes an eerie, shimmering light.

14. Near the barn stands two old oak trees.

15. When is Christmas holidays scheduled on the school calendar?.

stand

are

delayed subjects4

Exercise 2 – Medium

Delayed Subjects :

are

5. Where are Mary's brothers?

6. There is the socks you bought for soccer practice.

7. There was thousands of people at the parade.

8. In the small pond swims four large fish.

9. There's no one left in the room.

10. In later life comes great wisdom.

were

swim

slide37

Subject Verb Agreement

Begin Hard Tutorial

Easy Tutorial Completed!

Medium Tutorial Completed!

compound subjects3

Exercise 2 – Medium

Compound Subjects

When two or more subjects are joined by a conjunction, the result is a compound subject.

A compound subject joined by the conjunction andis usually plural and therefore requires a verb that does not end in s.

Examples:

  • The houseandthe barnbelong to Sam's family.
  • A slice of toastanda glassof juice are on the table.
compound subjects4

Exercise 2 – Medium

Compound Subjects

Note: When two or more subjects are joined by the conjunction orornor, the verb agrees with the subject that is closer to it (usually the second subject).

Examples:

  • Fudge orcookiesarea good choice for dessert.
  • Neither Tammy nor her sisterlikesto travel.
  • Either the clerk orthe secretary _____ (has/have) the keys to the rover.

has

compound subjects5

Exercise 3 – Hard

Compound Subjects :

1. Ben and Pete (want, wants) to buy a new computer.

2. The color and style (is, are) important to most teenagers.

3. The price or warranty (is, are) not as important as other factors.

4. Neither a new television nor stereo (interest, interests) Ben and Pete.

5. A large monitor and quality sound (impress, impresses) them.

6. The manager and sales clerk (try, tries) to convince them to buy an expensive model.

compound subjects6

Exercise 3 – Hard

Compound Subjects :

7. Neither Ben nor Pete (want, wants) to make a rush decision about the computer.

8. Video editing and computer graphics (provide, provides) new possibilities for the user.

9. Most people know when a computer system or program (work, works) properly, and they can usually do minor repairs themselves.

10. A computer course and a reference guide (is, are) necessary for serious users.

11. A new keyboard or mouse (attract, attracts) those interested in upgrading their systems.

compound subjects7

Exercise 3 – Hard

Compound Subjects :

13. Neither the directions on the package nor the brochure (explain, explains) how to play the game.

14. Both the hard drive and the software installed on our old computer (is, are) damaged.

compound exceptions

Exercise 2 – Hard

Compound exceptions

Exceptions: Though subjects joined by andare usually considered plural, there are two exceptions to this rule.

Exception # 1: When the two subjects are really naming one person or thing, the subject is singular and the verb should end in s.

Macaroniandcheeseis my favorite food.

The librarianandreadingteacher is Mrs. Jones.

compound subjects8

Exercise 2 – hard

Compound Subjects

Exception Two:

When the word everyprecedes a compound subject, it makes that subject singular, and the verb should end in s.

Every dogandcathas been vaccinated.

compound subjects9

Exercise 3 – Hard

Compound Subjects :

1. (Does, Do) every boy and girl in kindergarten visit the museum?

2. Clowns and fools, as well as heroes, (appear, appears) in many of Shakespeare's plays.

3. Either the plaintiff or the defendant (has, have) changed his mind about the suit.

4. Neither the President nor his family members (was, were) safe.

5. Fish and chips (is, are) a specialty of local restaurants.

compound subjects10

Exercise 3 – Hard

Compound Subjects :

6. Every dog and cat (is, are) required to wear a tag certifying that it has been vaccinated.

7. The cook and housekeeper (is, are) paid a larger salary than the gardener because of the extra requirements of her job.

8. Rain, snow, or fog (is, are) hazardous to beginning drivers.

9. (Do, Does) dogs and monkeys have the ability to think?

10. Both Jane and her brother (like, likes) riding horses.

slide47

3 errors in Paragraph 1

8 errors in paragraph 2

Subject Verb Agreement

Quiz

Time!

Easy Tutorial Completed!

Medium Tutorial Completed!

Hard Tutorial Completed!

slide48

Quiz

Quiz

Single Subject

Some of the sentences in the following passage have errors in subject-verb agreement. Draw a line through each faulty verb and write the correct form above it.

One of the symbols of our nation consist of sticks tied in a bundle.

These sticks represent the individual states, and the bundle represent the United States.

The symbol, like our flag, makes a statement. The symbol means "United we stand; divided we fall."

consists

represents

Single Subject

slide49

Quiz

Compound

Subjects

Quiz

Come

The symbol and the statement comes from an old story, one of the fables told by an ancient Greek storyteller named Aesop.

In this story, a man have several sons who are always quarreling with one another.

The father, with frequent admonitions, try to get the sons to stop their arguing and fighting.

But nothing works.

has

Single Subject

tries

Single Subject

slide50

Singular Subject

Quiz

decides

Quiz

Single Subject

Finally, the father decide to give his sons a practical lesson in the effects of disunity.

He ask them to bring him a bundle of sticks.

Handing the bundle to each of his sons, he tells them to break it in two shorter pieces.

Each of the sons try to break the bundle, but none of them are able to do so.

asks

Single Subject

Single Subject

tries

slide51

Quiz

have

Quiz

Single Subject

There is too much strength when the sticks has been tied together.

Next the father unties the bundle and hand a single stick to each of his sons and ask each son to break his stick.

Of course, all of the sons is able to break the sticks easily.

hands

plural Subject

Plural Subject

are

slide52

Quiz

Single Subject

Quiz

tells

Single Subject

Single Subject

Plural Subject

The father then tell his sons, "You are like the sticks.

If you are united like the bundle of sticks, you are strong enough to withstand any attacks from enemies.

But if there is quarreling and fighting among you, your enemies will be able to defeat you easily."

slide53

Quiz

Single Subject

Quiz

means

plural Subject

The motto of the United States mean the same thing.

The individual states become strong when they are united, but if they try to stand alone, they can be picked off one by one.