Subject verb agreement 2


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Subject verb agreement 2

  1. 1. UWF Writing Lab Rules of Thumb for SUBJECT/VERB AGREEMENT from Real Good Grammar, Too by Mamie Webb Hixon
  2. 2. Rule 1 <ul><li>Use a verb ending in –s if your subject is a he, she, or it. </li></ul><ul><li>Singular subjects include, but are not limited to, these: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Singular nouns: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A list of phone numbers is available. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A major problem is smokers. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Singular indefinite pronouns: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Each of us has a key. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subjects preceded by each , every , or many a : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Every Tom, Dick, and Harriet has an opinion. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Singular Subjects, cont. <ul><ul><li>Subjects preceded by the number of : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The number of students attending college is very high. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Titles/names of companies, books, plays, movies, etc.: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Centers for Disease Control is in Atlanta, Georgia. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gerunds: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recycling telephone directories helps save landfill space each year. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relative pronouns referring to singular antecedents: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ora is the only one in the group who smokes . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subjects joined by or, nor, either…or, or neither…nor : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Neither the players nor the coach was present. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Rule 2 <ul><li>Use a verb that does not end in –s if your subject is a they . </li></ul><ul><li>Plural subjects include, but are not limited to, these: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subjects joined by or, nor, either…or, or neither…nor : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Neither the coach nor the players were present. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plural indefinite pronouns: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Both of us have a key. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Plural Subjects, cont. <ul><ul><li>Plural nouns: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The scissors are lying on the desk. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subjects preceded by a number of : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A number of students are majoring in law. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relative pronouns referring to plural antecedents: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He is one of the millions of people who smoke . </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Rule 3 <ul><li>Ignore prepositional phrases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A list of phone numbers is available. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ignore there and here at the beginning of a sentence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are three books on the censored list. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ignore appositives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They each have a ticket. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ignore words synonymous with the subject: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clothes are her passion . Her passion is clothes . </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Rule 4 <ul><li>Some subjects may be singular or plural depending on the meaning of the subject. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some of the food is cold. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some of the vegetables are cold. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The cast was congratulated. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The cast were practicing their lines. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fifteen minutes is a long time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fifteen minutes remain . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Statistics is a difficult course. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Divorce statistics are alarmingly high. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Let’s Practice!!! <ul><li>The sheriff along with two of her deputies (were, was) checking licenses at the North Road exit. </li></ul><ul><li>WAS </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the lots in our subdivision (was, were) not for sale. </li></ul><ul><li>WERE </li></ul><ul><li>Here (is, are) the transistors and diodes that you purchased for your repair shop. </li></ul><ul><li>ARE </li></ul><ul><li>Genetics (is, are) very difficult for beginning students to understand. </li></ul><ul><li>IS </li></ul>
  9. 9. More Practice!!! <ul><li>The number of girls in my football club (was, were) surprising. </li></ul><ul><li>WAS </li></ul><ul><li>A number of the swimmers (is, are) going to the state competition. </li></ul><ul><li>ARE </li></ul><ul><li>There (is, are) some error messages showing up in my program. </li></ul><ul><li>ARE </li></ul><ul><li>Neither Betty nor Jane (type, types) more than fifty words per minute. </li></ul><ul><li>TYPES </li></ul>