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Subject Verb Agreement

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  • 1. Subject-Verb Agreement
  • 2. Definition
    Subject-Verb Agreement refers to the relationship between the verb and its subject.
    Every clause or sentence must agree in number and person with its subject.
    Verb must be singular if its subject is singular; verb must be plural if its subject is plural.
  • 3. Subject- Verb Agreement
    Examples:
    Singular Subject and Singular Verb
    Overcrowding causes many of the discipline problems in our school.
    Plural Subject and Plural Verb
    Fires destroymillions of dollars worth of property each year.
  • 4. Subject Verb Agreement
    To choose the correct verb form, identify the subject of the sentence.
    The first three weeks of basic training
    is the worst.
    [The plural subject weeks takes a plural verb.]
    Subject
    are
  • 5. Subject- Verb Agreement
    Another group of words that can cause confusion is the subordinate clause.
    The use of mood altering drugs, although they
    sometimes provide great medical benefits, are
    generally criticized by the public.
    [The singular subject usetakes a singular verb.]
    Subject
    is
  • 6. Subject -Verb Agreement
    A problem can also arise from the use of along with, as well as, in addition to, and together with.
    The cost of medication as well as doctors’ fees
    are a problem for retired Canadians wintering
    in Florida.
    [The singular subject cost takes a singular verb.]
    Subject
    is
  • 7. Subject Verb Agreement
    Block all prepositional phrases, subordinate clauses, and miscellaneous expressions, you will get the subject and the verb by process of elimination.
    Unless it rains, I plan on leaving as late as possible, along with all the other vacationers.
  • 8. Subject -Verb Agreement
    Look for inverted word order, in which the subject follows the verb.
    From his research has come three
    promising cancer drugs.
    have
    Subject
  • 9. Subject- Verb Agreement
    Use a plural verb with the most compound subjects joined by and.
    Their television and their camera was stolen.
    Subject
    were
    Subject
  • 10. Subject-Verb Agreement
    However, when singular subjects are joined by and are preceded by each, every, no, nothing or many a(n), use a singular verb.
    Every chair and every couch are on
    sale this weekend.
    S
    S
    is
  • 11. Subject-Verb Agreement
    No bicycling and no hitchhiking are
    permitted on Highway 20.
    is
    S
    S
  • 12. Subject-Verb Agreement
    If the two parts of a compound subject, whether singular or plural, express a single idea or refer to a single person, use singular verb.
    Ham and eggs are my favorite
    breakfast.
    S
    is
  • 13. If subjects joined by either/or orneither/nor differ in number and person, make the verb agree with the subject close to it.
    Neither the instructor nor the
    students is satisfied with the room.
    are
  • 14. Subject- Verb Agreement
    When a collective noun used as a subject regards a group as a unit, use singular verb. When it refers to the individual members of a group, use plural verb.
  • 15. The committee gives its report today.
    The committee give their reports today.
    The committee as a whole
    Each member of the committee
  • 16. When a relative pronoun (who, which, or that), is the subject, make the verb agree with the pronoun’s antecedent.
  • 17. A politician who votes pro-laborgets
    elected.
    Politicians who vote pro-laborget
    elected.
  • 18. She is one of thepoliticianswho
    always vote pro-labor.
    She is the only one of the politicians
    whoalways votes pro-labor.
  • 19. When an indefinite pronoun is the subject, choose a singular or plural verb, depending on the number of the indefinite pronoun.
  • 20. Use a singular verb with a singular indefinite pronoun. (another, anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, neither, no one, nothing, one, somebody, someone, something).
  • 21. Somebody has to decide whether to
    paint the kitchen this year.
    [One person (one body) will make the decision.]
  • 22. Use a plural verb with a plural indefinite pronoun (both, few, many, several).
    I spent the afternoon shopping for a
    camera, but few were reasonably
    priced.
  • 23. With indefinite pronouns that can be singular or plural, (all, any, none, some), use a singular or plural verb, depending on the word the indefinite pronoun refers to.
  • 24. All of the wheat is harvested.
    All of the fields are ploughed.
    [Wheat is singular, fields is plural.]
  • 25. When the sentence begins with here or there, make the verb agree in number with the subject.
    There is stone, brick and tile
    fireplaces in Blenheim Castle.
    are
  • 26. Make linking verbs agree in number with their subjects not their complements.
    A subject complement renames or describes the subject and is, therefore sometimes confused with it.
    S
    complement
    is
    His main interest are stamps.
  • 27. When the subject noun is in the form of a plural but is singular in meaning, use a singular verb.
    Measles were a serious childhood
    disease until a vaccine was developed.
    was
  • 28. When a word used as a word is the subject, use singular verb.
    The number (singular or plural) of the word used as a word is unimportant; the sentence is about a single thing so use a singular verb.
    Flurries are one of the terms used to describe
    a light fall of snow.
    is
  • 29. When the subject of a sentence is a noun clause, use a singular verb.
    That he actually bought a new jeep surprises me.
    Noun clause
  • 30. Noun clauses that begin with what are the exception. If the subject of the sentence is plural, the verb is a linking verb, use a plural verb with a what clause.
  • 31. What worries him more than anything
    else is his low grades in his major.
    Subject
    are