November 8, 2010 Grammar: Subject-Verb Agreement Writing: Sentence Skills Revision
Housekeeping Hand in today: Cause and Effect Practice Paragraph Wednesday: You should be up to p. 168 in the novel Novel Quiz Novel Vocabulary Paragraph Due (I will try to remember to put up some sample sentences on the website!!)
Subject-Verb Agreement, p. 464-467 Singular subjects must take a singular verb. I walk fast you walk fast he/she walks fast Plural subjects must take a plural verb. We walk fast they walk fast
Mistakes in Subject-Verb Agreement. . . . . . usually occur in the following situations: When words come between the subject and verb When a verb comes before a subject With compound subjects With indefinite pronouns
When words come between the subject and verb (p. 464) . . . . . . subject-verb agreement does not change. Ex: The noisy dogsin my neighbourhood get on my nerves. (plural subject) (plural verb) The words “in my neighbourhood” form a prepositional phrase that does not affect s-v agreement.
Reminder: Prepositional phrases Prepositions are words that usually indicate time and space relationships. Ex: before, under, with, behind, in, of, etc. Prepositional phrases are word groups that begin with prepositions (they usually include an object and adjectives or adverbs) Ex: during class, behind the old bridge
When trying to find the subject of a sentence, it can help to cross out the prepositional phrases: Nell, with her three dogs close behind, runs around the park every day. The seamsin my new coat have split after only two years. When words come between the subject and verb (Cont’d.)
Activity, p. 464 Do as many others as you can finish in 5 minutes. 1. seem 2. taste 3. is 4. speak 5. is 6. looks 7. is 8. need 9. overflows 10. sleeps
When a verb comes before a subject . . . . . . it must still agree with the subject! Ex: On Sasha’s desk were two books. Ex: There are many sushi restaurants in Vancouver. To try to find the subject, ask yourself who or what does the verb refer to. Ex: Q: What was on Sasha’s desk? A: The books. So, the verb must agree with “books” (plural) not Sasha (singular)!!
Activity, p. 465 Do as many others as you can finish in 5 minutes. 1. is 2. was 3. do 4. are 5. rest 6. were 7. are 8. stands 9. are 10. were
With compound subjects, p. 466 Situation 1: When two subjects are joined by and they take a plural verb: Ex: Maple syrup andsweet buttertaste delicious on pancakes. Ex: Mikeand Sharon have a lot of work to do.
With compound subjects, p. 466 Situation 2: In contrast, when subjects are joined by either . . . or, neither . . . nor, not only . . . but also, the verb agrees with the subject closest to the verb: (plural) (singular) (singular) Ex: Either the students or the teachertakes a day off every month. (singular) (plural) (plural) Ex: Either the teacher or the studentstake a day off every month.
Activity, p. 466. Do as many others as you can finish in 5 minutes. 1. stay 2. are 3. hold 4. were 5. wants 6. are 7. were 8. visit 9. were 10. act
With indefinite pronouns These words alwaystake singular verbs: However: “both” always takes a plural verb!
Activity, p. 467 Do as many others as you can finish in 5 minutes. 1. is 2. feels 3. knows 4. needs 5. sounds 6. pitches 7. was 8. provides 9. likes 10. steals
Writing Handing back exemplification paragraphs process paragraphs
Topic Sentences Remember A single paragraph begins with one clear topic sentence. Topic sentences must state who or what the paragraph is about what the writer (you) think about the topic Examples: My friend Alice is very forgetful. You can make a healthy soup in a few simple steps.
Writing a Topic Sentence II, p. 69-70 For each number, select one of the limited topics, and decide what you want to say about that topic. Write a topic sentence that includes 1 and 2 above.
Student Sentences In my school there are special courses for disabled students. (topic is clear, but needs to include writers opinion about it – is it beneficial? useful? not useful?) There are some strict policies in our school that we have to follow. (the writer’s opinion could be even clearer: The policies we have to follow in our school are too strict) Text answer: Business Writing 101 (topic) has proved to be the most useful(writer’s opinion) college course I’ve taken. 2. The working conditions in my last job were very poor. The working conditions at the construction site were very poor. My duties at work are too many for the low salary. (OR: I have too many duties at my work. [the low salary is not really the focus of the paragraph]) I am looking for a better way to save money faster. (What will the paragraph focus on? the new ways or the old ones? TRY: I am exploring several different ways of saving money faster. ) Being limited with money when you have small children is hard. (The writer’s opinion [is hard] is clear, but the topic could be stated a bit more clearly: It is hard to take care of children with limited money).
Revision for Sentence Skills
rewrite your paragraph, making the corrections suggested
use the editing marks handout to try to figure out what my correction mark mean
if you’ve tried but can’t figure out what my mark means or how to correct the error, THEN, and only THEN, you can ask me for help
Revised paragraphs are worth up to 3 bonus marks each: 1 = you tried, but you missed several corrections or corrected them incorrectly! ;-) 2 = you made most of the corrections correctly 3 = you did every correction and you did them correctly
Homework Due Wednesday: You should be up to p. 168 in the novel Novel Quiz Novel Vocabulary Paragraph Due Due Monday: Read English Skills, Chapter 11 Comparison or Contrast, p. 222-232. Answer the questions throughout the chapter. Answer keys will be posted online. Do Writing Assignment #1 on p. 233 (for practice and feedback).