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UCI Extension
Paper-Based TOEFL Workshop

Subject/Verb Agreement
Structure and Written Expression Skills 20-23
Longman Pre...
A verb needs to agree with its subject.
• Many of the concepts in this section are the same as in the
tutorial Skills 1-5:...
The verb needs to match its subject.
• A singular subject needs a singular verb:
[The library is full of books.]
• A plura...
You need to be able to find the subject.
• Sometimes it’s hard to tell which word is really the subject of
a clause. Other...
Make verbs agree after prepositional phrases
• A preposition is a word that shows a relationship with a
noun, like in, at,...
Make verbs agree after prepositional phrases
• An object of a preposition cannot be the subject of a clause.
The subject o...
Make verbs agree after expressions of quantity
• When the subject of the sentence starts with some
expressions of quantity...
Make verbs agree after expressions of quantity
• The most common words that work this way are
all, most, some, and half.
A...
Make inverted verbs agree
• In some sentences, the subject and verb are inverted.
(That is, the subject comes after the ve...
Make inverted verbs agree
• In sentences with an inverted subject and verb, make sure the
verb agrees with the subject. Do...
Make verbs agree after certain strange words
• Some words in English always need a singular verb, even
though their meanin...
Make verbs agree after certain strange words
• Here are some correct examples with these odd words:
Everybody needs to be ...
Summary
In this section, you have learned about these things:
• A singular noun needs a singular verb. A plural
noun needs...
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Skills 20 23 subject-verb agreement

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Transcript of "Skills 20 23 subject-verb agreement"

  1. 1. UCI Extension Paper-Based TOEFL Workshop Subject/Verb Agreement Structure and Written Expression Skills 20-23 Longman Preparation Course for the TOEFL Test Tutorial prepared by Marla Yoshida 1
  2. 2. A verb needs to agree with its subject. • Many of the concepts in this section are the same as in the tutorial Skills 1-5: Clauses, Subjects, and Verbs. It would be helpful to review that information too. 2
  3. 3. The verb needs to match its subject. • A singular subject needs a singular verb: [The library is full of books.] • A plural subject needs a plural verb: [The libraries are full of books.] • Sometimes singular and plural verbs are the same, for example, when the verb is in the past tense: [The student studied.] [The students studied.] • or when there’s a modal: [The student must study.] [The students must study.] 3
  4. 4. You need to be able to find the subject. • Sometimes it’s hard to tell which word is really the subject of a clause. Other words can get in the way and make you think they’re the subject. The subject is not always the word just before the verb. [The kitten is cute.] [The kitten with big, green eyes is cute.] [The kitten, my sister’s new pet, is cute.] [The kitten sleeping in the kitchen is cute.] • Kitten is still the subject, even though other words come between it and the verb. 4
  5. 5. Make verbs agree after prepositional phrases • A preposition is a word that shows a relationship with a noun, like in, at, with, under, or during. A preposition is followed by a noun. This noun is called the object of the preposition. The preposition and its object together are called a prepositional phrase. [The windows (of that house) need to be repaired.] preposition object of the preposition [(In my opinion,) the price (of movie tickets) is too expensive.] preposition object of the preposition preposition object of the preposition 5
  6. 6. Make verbs agree after prepositional phrases • An object of a preposition cannot be the subject of a clause. The subject of the first sentence is windows (not house), so the verb is plural. The subject of the second sentence is price (not tickets), so the verb is singular. [The windows (of that house) need to be repaired.] plural plural [(In my opinion,) the price (of movie tickets) is too expensive.] singular singular 6
  7. 7. Make verbs agree after expressions of quantity • When the subject of the sentence starts with some expressions of quantity (a word that says how much or how many), the verb might be singular or plural. In this case, the verb matches the object of the preposition. Most (of the lesson) was easy to understand. singular noun singular verb Most (of the sentences) were easy to understand. plural noun plural verb Most (of the information) was easy to understand. uncountable noun singular verb 7
  8. 8. Make verbs agree after expressions of quantity • The most common words that work this way are all, most, some, and half. All of the students were asleep. All of the cake was eaten. Yummy! Most of the hour was spent on reviewing verb tenses. Most of the books in the library are hardcovers. Some of the students are awake now. Some of the furniture has plastic covers over it. Half of the ice cream was strawberry, and half was vanilla. Half of the children like strawberry, and half like vanilla. 8
  9. 9. Make inverted verbs agree • In some sentences, the subject and verb are inverted. (That is, the subject comes after the verb.) This happens… • When we make a question • When the sentence starts with a place expression (sometimes) • When the sentence begins with certain negative expressions • When we use a conditional without the word if • When the sentence has a comparison (sometimes) 9
  10. 10. Make inverted verbs agree • In sentences with an inverted subject and verb, make sure the verb agrees with the subject. Don’t be fooled by other words that might come before the verb. There is a big spider on your shoulder. (spider = subject) There are two cars in the garage. (cars = subject) Here are the books that I borrowed. (books = subject) Here in my hand is a shiny, new dime. (dime = subject) In every classroom are a map and a globe. Never had she seen such noisy children. (Subject = she) Seldom was he as happy as at that moment. (Subject = he) 10
  11. 11. Make verbs agree after certain strange words • Some words in English always need a singular verb, even though their meaning is not singular. These words are: somebody someone something anybody anyone anything nobody no one nothing everybody everyone everything every (+ NOUN) each (+ NOUN) S A N E • You can remember which words work this way by thinking of the word SANE. The first letters of the words in each group spell out this word. • The noun after every and each has to be singular. Each child needs a book. Every student was listening. 11
  12. 12. Make verbs agree after certain strange words • Here are some correct examples with these odd words: Everybody needs to be polite to each other. Somebody is knocking on the door. Does anybody want to go to Starbucks? Nobody in this room has two heads. Each member of the team tries hard to win. • These examples are not correct: Everybody want to get a good score on the test. Somebody are waiting outside. I think there are four people. Anybody are eligible to join this club. Nobody are going to forget about the homework. Each students are going to study hard. 12
  13. 13. Summary In this section, you have learned about these things: • A singular noun needs a singular verb. A plural noun needs a plural verb. • You need to make verbs agree after prepositional phrases. • You need to make verbs agree after expressions of quantity. • You need to make inverted verbs agree. • You need to make verbs agree after certain strange words. 13
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