Subjects joined by and usually take aplural verb.Our dog and cat gets baths in the summer.Our dog and cat get baths in the summer.Mr. Duffy and his daughter have gone fishing.Mr. Duffy and his daughter has gone fishing.
EXCEPTIONA compound subject that names onlyone person or thing takes a singularverb.A famous singer and dancer________ going to speak at ourdrama club meeting.
A famous singer and dancer ________going to speak at our drama club meeting.
17h: Singular subjects joinedby or or nor take a singularverb.The chief geologist or her assistant (are is) due toarrive tonight.Neither a rabbit nor a mole (does do) that kind ofdamage.Either Serena or Stephen (are is) here.Neither the boys nor the girls (is are) here.
17i: When a singular subject and pluralsubject are joined by or or nor, theverb MUST AGREE with the subjectnearer the verb.A book or flowers usually (make makes) an appropriate gift.Flowers or a book usually (make makes) an appropriate gift.Neither the boys nor their mother (are is) here.Neither the mother nor his sons (are is) here.
Noun phrases referring toa single unit are singular.Spaghetti and meatballs are myfavorite dinnerBroccoli and spinach is myfavorite vegetables.
Don’t be confusedby…Collective nouns-- Name a group of people or things. Examples: family,orchestra, group, committee, jury, crowd, audience, pair,and squad.-- Collective nouns can be either singular or plural,depending on usage. You, the writer, must decide ifyou’re talking about a group as a whole or the individualswithin the group.The football team wants to win. (SINGULAR)The football team put on their uniforms. (PLURAL)
Collective nouns that refer to the group as aunit are singular.Collective nouns that refer to the individualmembers of the group are plural.The newly married couple (are is) happy.A couple of people (were was) late for the wedding.
Don’t be confused by…A subject that follows the verb or comesat the the verb, find the subject andmake sure that the verb agrees with it.Where (was, were)the cat?(Do, Does) the Chensknow Jim?
Standing at the back of the room (was, were)my parents.At the end of most of our team’s games(come, comes) victory’s sweetness.
NOTE: If the subject of a sentence follows part of allof the verb, the word order is inverted. To ensureagreement, restate the sentence in normal subject-verb order.Here (is, are) your gloves.Your gloves (is, are) here.In the pond (swims, swim) largegoldfish.Large goldfish (swims, swim)in the pond.
Don’t be confused by…Phrases such as along with; together with;accompanied by; as well as; including; andin addition to.Melissa, as well as Justin, play basketball well.Broccoli, in addition to squash and all othervegetables, are good for you.
Don’t be confused by…Nouns of amount--Like collective nouns, the writer must determine if he or sheis talking about the amount as a whole or individual units.Five hundred dollars is a lot of money (SINGULAR)We have a problem: five hundred-dollar bills are missing.(PLURAL)
Thirteen pounds are a lot fora newborn baby to weigh.Three separate hours onthree separate days wasneeded to finish the exam.
Don’t be confused by…Noun phrases referring to a single unitSpaghetti and meatballs are my favoritedinnerBroccoli and spinach is my favoritevegetables.
Don’t be confused by…Some “–ics” nouns thatcan be either singular orpluralPolitics is an interesting career.(SINGULAR)The politics in the presidentialcampaign were mighty dirty.(PLURAL)
Statistics are my mostinteresting class.The statistics of the gameis not good for our team.
Don’t be Confused By….Creative Works, Countries, orOrganizations-- even when plural in form, thesetake singular verbsWorld Tales (is, are) a collection offolk tales retold by Idries Shah.The Philippines (is, are) an islandcountry in the South Pacific.
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