Subject-Verb Agreement • THE VERB OF A SENTENCE MUST ALWAYS AGREE WITHITSSUBJECT. • If a sentence contains a singularsubject, the verbthatgoeswithit must alsobesingular. • If a sentence contains a plural subject, the verbthatgoeswithit must alsobeplural.
Subject-Verb Agreement • The best moment during a broadcastfilledwithmanygreat moments werewhen the astronautstepped out of the lunarlander and bounced on the moon. • The subject of this sentence ismoment,whichissingular. • The main verb of this sentence iswere, but because the subject of the sentence issingular, the verbshouldalsobesingular. The correct form of the verbiswas. • The best moment during a broadcastfilledwithmanygreat moments waswhen the astronautstepped out of the lunarlander and bounced on the moon.
Subject-Verb Agreement • ACT writers like to stick many modifying phrases and clauses between the subject and the verb in the hope that you will forget what the subject was by the time you get to the verb. • The best way to check subject-verb agreement is to mentally cross out all the words between the subject and the verb so that you can see if the subject and verb really agree.
Pronoun-Verb Agreement • Sometimes the subject of a sentence turns out to be a pronoun. Don’t let that throw you. • The verb must still agree with the subject. • Each of these moments have played a part in my mind again and again as I try to recapture the excitement of that momentous day in June. • The subject of this sentence is each, which you’ll recall, is a singular pronoun. The verb is have played, which is plural. How do you fix this sentence?
Pronoun-Verb Agreement • Each of these moments has played in my mind again and again as I try to recapture the excitement of that momentous day in June. • Sounds awkward doesn’t it? It’s correct though. • This is a great example of an instance in which knowing and applying the rules leads you to the correct answer while using your ear may not.
Work Cited • Martz, Geoff, Kim Magloire, and Theodore Silver. Cracking the ACT. 2007 ed. New York: Random House, 2007.