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Subject verb agreement

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Transcript

  • 1. Subject-Verb Agreement
  • 2. Agreement
    • Present tense verbs in English should agree with the subject of the sentence
    • Singular subjects use singular verbs
      • Jack rob s liquor stores ( s on the verb)
    • Plural subjects use plural verbs
      • Bonnie and Clyde rob banks (no s on the verb)
    • Most native speaker do this instinctively
    • More complex problems require you to learn a few rules
  • 3. Identify the Subject
    • Ignore words that come between the subject and the verb
    • Reduce sentences to their simplest form
      • A good set of skis costs / cost hundreds of dollars
      • A good set of skis costs / cost hundreds of dollars
      • A good set of skis costs hundreds of dollars
      • My boss, as well as her staff, leave / leaves early every Friday
      • My boss, as well as her staff, leave / leaves early every Friday
      • My boss, as well as her staff, leaves early every Friday
  • 4. Compound Subjects using “And”
    • Most compound subjects joined by “ and” are plural
      • Bert and Ernie is / are special friends
      • Bert and Ernie is / are special friends ( plural verb )
    • Exception : If the words joined by “ and” refer to a single thing, the subject is also singular
      • War and Peace is a very thick book ( singular )
      • My friend and co-worker is waiting to see you ( singular )
  • 5. Compound Subjects using “Or”
    • When the subject is joined with “ or” or “nor” the verb agrees with the words closest to the verb
      • Neither the instructor nor the student s has / have any control over the number of 8 o’clock classes
      • Neither the instructor nor the student s has / have any control over the number of 8 o’clock classes ( plural verb )
      • Either two credit card s or a membership is / are needed before you can rent movies
      • Either two credit card s or a membership is / are needed before you can rent movies (singular verb)
        • Note : While the above example is correct, it is usually better to place the plural word closer to the verb
      • Either a membership or two credit card s are needed before you can rent movies ( plural verb )
  • 6. Indefinite Pronouns
    • Indefinite pronouns are singular
      • every, everyone, everybody, each, neither, either, none, one, no one
        • Every student has / have a unique student number
        • Every student has / have a unique student number
        • None of us admit / admits to sending the e-mail message
        • None of us admit / admits to sending the e-mail message
    • Ignore prepositional phrases coming between the subject and the verb
        • Each of the five departments is / are hiring new instructors
        • Each of the five departments is / are hiring new instructors
  • 7. Collective Nouns
    • Words such as jury, committee, or herd will be singular when everyone in the group is acting together
      • The jury is / are deciding the fate of the accused
      • The jury is / are deciding the fate of the accused
    • Collective nouns will be plural when the members of the group are not acting together
      • The jury is / are undecided on the guilt of the accused
      • The jury is / are undecided on the guilt of the accused
  • 8. Here, There, and It
    • When the sentence begins with Here or There , the subject follows the verb and controls whether the verb is plural
      • Here are my reason s for quitting (plural)
      • There is no need to pay me next week (singular)
    • It is always singular
      • It was the long hour s that bothered me (singular)
  • 9. Words Ending in S
    • Words such as economics , AIDS , physics and news are singular
      • Economics is fun and exciting
      • The news is usually broadcast live
    • Words such as scissors , eyeglasses and pants that name things with two parts are plural
      • My glasses were broken when I did a face plant
  • 10. Money and Measurement
    • Units of time, money, distance, and weight use singular verbs
      • Twenty kilometers is a long distance to skate to work each day
      • Eight dollars an hour is a poor rate
    • The expression the number is singular
      • The number of failures is decreasing
    • The expression a number is plural
      • A number of people are leaving
  • 11. Titles
    • The title of a movie, book or magazine requires a singular verb
      • Lost Horizons is a book about a utopia
      • The Simpsons is my favourite TV show
  • 12. Interactive Exercises
    • Click on the button below to get to the interactive exercises
    • No disk is required