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Subject verb agreement


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  • 1. Subject - Verb Agreement
  • 2. Rules for subject verb agreement
  • 3. Rules 1
  • 4. In the present tense, nouns and verbs form plurals in opposite ways: nouns ADD an s to the singular form; verbs REMOVE the s from the singular form.
  • 5. These agreement rules do not apply to verbs used in the simple past tense without any helping verbs.
  • 6. The agreement rules do, however, apply to the following helping verbs when they are used with a main verb: is-are, was-were, has-have, does- do. The agreement rules do not apply to has-have when used as the SECOND helping verb in a pair.
  • 7. They do NOT apply to any other helping verbs, such as can, could, shall, should, may, might, will, would, must.
  • 8. The subject-verb agreement rules apply to all personal pronouns except I and you, which, although SINGULAR, require PLURAL forms of verbs.
  • 9. Rules 2
  • 10. Compound Subject The word “compound” means “made up of two or more parts.”Two or more words can be compounded or linked by joining them with any of three words: and, or, and nor Here are some examples of compounding: Compound nouns can function as a “compound subject.” In some instances, a compound subject poses special problems for the subject-verb agreement rule (+s, -s).
  • 11. However, instead of using two sentences (as above), we may choose to give the above information in one sentence. This sentence makes use of a compound subject (two subject nouns joined by and), illustrating a new rule about subject- verb agreement. Although each part of the compound subject is singular (ranger and camper), taken together (joined by and), each one becomes a part of a plural structure and, therefore, must take a plural verb (see) to agree in the sentence.
  • 12. SUBJECT-VERB RULE #1 – Two or more singular (or plural) subjects joined by and act as a plural compound subject and take a plural verb (singular + singular = plural). You can check the verb by substituting the pronoun they for the compound subject.
  • 13. Or and nor as joiners work somewhat differently from and. While the word and seems to ADD things together, or and nor do not. They suggest a CHOICE. This sentence makes use of a compound subject (two subject nouns joined together by or). Each part of the compound subject (ranger, camper) is singular. Even though both words function together as subject (joined by or), the subject still remains SINGULAR (ranger or camper) since a CHOICE is implied. This compound subject, therefore, requires a singular verb to agree with it.
  • 14. SUBJECT-VERB RULE #2 – Two or more SINGULAR subjects joined by or (or nor) act as a singular compound subject and, therefore, take a singular verb to agree. Note: Two or more plural subjects joined by or (or nor) would naturally take a plural verb to agree.
  • 15. However, or and nor can pose a more difficult problem. Thus far we have been working with compound subjects whose individual parts are both either singular or plural What if one part of the compound subject is singular and the other part is plural? What form of a verb should be used in this case? Should the verb be singular to agree with one word? Or should the verb be plural to agree with the other?
  • 16. Solution: 1.If the individual parts of the compound subject are joined by and, always use a plural verb.
  • 17. 2.If the individual parts of the compound subject are joined by or or nor, use the verb form (singular or plural) which will agree with the subject closer to the verb.
  • 18. Rules 3
  • 19. Group Nouns Some nouns which name groups can be either singular or plural depending upon their meaning in individual sentences. Because they can describe either the individuals in the group (more than one – plural), or the group as a single entity (one only – singular), these nouns pose special problems. However, there are some guidelines for deciding which verb form (singular or plural) to use with one of these nouns as the subject in a sentence
  • 20. If we refer to the group as a whole and, therefore, as a single unit, we consider the noun singular. In this case, we use a singular verb. If, on the other hand, we are actually referring to the individuals within the group, then we consider the noun plural. In this case, we use a plural verb.
  • 21. Of course group nouns, like other nouns, can also appear in plural forms (with an s).
  • 22. When used in the plural form, group nouns mean MORE THAN ONE GROUP. Thus, it uses a plural verb. Thus, there are three important subject – verb agreement rules to remember when a group noun is used as the subject: 1.Group nouns can be considered as a single unit, and, thus, take a singular verb. 2.Group nouns can be considered as individual members within a single unit and, thus, take a plural verb. 3.Group nouns can be given plural forms to mean two or more units and, thus, take a plural verb.
  • 23. Rules 4
  • 24. Plural Form / Singular Meaning Nouns Some nouns are regularly plural in form, but singular in meaning. Even though these nouns APPEAR to be plural because they end in s, they actually refer to only one thing made up of smaller, uncounted parts. Therefore, they are considered singular
  • 25. You can see that substituting that pronoun it instead of they makes more sense here.Another group of plural form nouns end in –ics. Similarly, it is a more suitable substitute for any of these words than is they.
  • 26. These nouns appear to be plural (end in s), but generally refer to only one thing and are, therefore, generally considered singular.
  • 27. NOTE: Occasionally, however, the –ics nouns can have a plural meaning: We can speak about individual parts of these wholes. In this case, we apply the same rule as applies to group nouns when we consider the individual members within the group.We use a plural verb. Note the difference in meaning and, therefore, in the verb chosen (singular or plural) between the two uses of the –ics noun, statistics.
  • 28. Rules5
  • 29. Indefinite pronouns can pose special problems in subject – verb agreement. The difficulty is that some indefinite pronouns sound plural when they are really singular. As subjects, the following indefinite pronouns ALWAYS take singular verbs. Look at them closely.
  • 30. However, the following indefinite pronouns ALWAYS take plural verbs.
  • 31. EXCEPTIONS: A third group of indefinite pronouns takes either a singular or plural verb depending on the pronoun’s meaning in the sentence. Look at them closely.
  • 32. Rules6
  • 33. So far we have considered subjects that can cause subject-verb agreement confusion: compound subjects, group noun subjects, plural form – singular meaning subjects, andindefinite subjects. The remainder of this teaching unit examines subject – verb agreement problems that can result from word placement in sentences. There are four main problems: prepositional phrases, clauses beginning with who, that, or which, sentences beginning with here or there, and questions.
  • 34. Here is a list of frequently used prepositions:
  • 35. A prepositional phrase may be placed between the subject and verb. In the above example, the singular verb is agrees with the singular subject boy.
  • 36. Sometimes, however, a prepositional phrase inserted between the subject and verb makes agreement more difficult. Car is the singular subject. Was is the singular helping verb which agrees with car. If we aren’t careful, however, we may mistakenly label riders as the subject since it is nearer to the verb than car is. If we choose the plural noun, riders, we will incorrectly select the plural verb were.
  • 37. Solution to the Prepositional Phrase Problem 1.Learn the major prepositions 2.Be alert for prepositional phrases placed between the subject and verb, and identify the noun in the phrase immediately as the object of a preposition: An object of a preposition can NEVER be a sentence subject.
  • 38. 3.Locate the true sentence subject and choose a verb which agrees with it. 4. Remember the indefinite pronoun EXCEPTIONS considered Some, Any, None, All, and Most. The number of these subject words IS affected by a prepositional phrase between the subject and verb.
  • 39. Rules7
  • 40. A clause beginning with who, that, or which and coming BETWEEN the subject and verb can cause agreement problems. Like the prepositional phrase, the who / that / which clause never contains the subject
  • 41. TO AVOID SUBJECT – VERB AGREEMENT ERRORS 1.Identify who / that / which clauses immediately. 2. Locate the true sentence subject and choose a verb that agrees with it.
  • 42. Rules8
  • 43. When a sentence begins with there is – there are / here is – here are, the subject and verb are inverted. After all that you have learned already, you will undoubtedly find this topic a relatively easy one! The verb in such constructions is obviously is or are. The subject, however, does not come BEFORE the verb.
  • 44. Instead, the subject in this kind of sentence comes AFTER the verb, so you must look for it AFTER the verb. In this example, because the subject, book, is singular, the verb must also be singular. If the subject is plural, however, then the verb must be plural. In this example, because the subject, books, is plural, the verb is also plural.
  • 45. Remember: In here is – here are / there is – there are constructions, look for the subject AFTER the verb and choose a singular (is) or a plural (are) verb to agree with the subject. And finally, sometimes creating a question will cause the subject to follow the verb as well. Here, identify the subject and then choose the verb that agrees with it (singular or plural).
  • 46. QUIZ
  • 47. 1.<a.>The boys is thought <b.>to be one of the most <c.>gifted children <d.>in the class. ANSWER
  • 48. 2.The advent of <a.>low-cost, high- speed <b.>data processing facilities <c.>have provided school administrators <d.>with resources not available few years ago. ANSWER
  • 49. 3.Fifty percent of the pie ______ disappeared. ANSWER
  • 50. 4.Treating them as hostages ______ criminal.{is , are} ANSWER
  • 51. 5.Professor Janes has <a.>told the class repeatedly that <b.>we has no <c.>business in that room and <d.>should never use it to study ANSWER
  • 52. 6.Banks in economically <a.>depressed areas <b.>has demonstrated their reluctance to <c.>extend the loans of <d.>borrowers who have not met their monthly payments. ANSWER
  • 53. 7.Boath man and woman ______ eligible to vote. { is , are} ANSWER
  • 54. 8.I know only a few people who ________ had the same problem. { have, has } ANSWER
  • 55. 9.Neither of them _____ available to speak right now .{is , are} ANSWER
  • 56. 10.The New York Time ______ a good newspaper.{is , are} ANSWER
  • 57. 11.One of the first lessons in forest- fire survival ______to try to reach burned ground.{is , are } ANSWER
  • 58. 12.Minerals <a.>in seawater <b.>exists in the same <c.>proportion in all the oceans <d.>of the world . ANSWER
  • 59. 13.The scientific study of the motion of bodies and the action of forces that change or cause motion __________ dynamics. {call , calls ,is called, are called} ANSWER
  • 60. 14.Geologists ______ forces that alter the surface and appearance of the Earth.{analyzing, analyzable , analyzes , analyze} ANSWER
  • 61. 15.________ of pottery is dependent on the durability of clay after firing.{to make, the making ,when to make, it is making} ANSWER
  • 62. 16.Jake was ________ in the pop art movement in 1884.{that one of a leading figure, a leading figure , leading figures, who leads figures} ANSWER
  • 63. 17.Gas lamps using gas made from local _______ to Sweden in 1802 .{introduced, to be introduced, introducing, were introduced} ANSWER
  • 64. 18.Traditionally,________ in New England on Thanksgiving Day.{when served is sweet cider, when sweet cider is served, is served sweet cider, sweet cider is served} ANSWER
  • 65. 19.The force ______ bodies of matter towards the Earth is gravity.{draws, which it draws, that draws, it draws} ANSWER
  • 66. 20.Albert Einstein was ______ to make a major breakthrough in physics.{on the first, physicist, the first physicist ,a physicist the first} ANSWER
  • 67. 21.______of Tanner’s paintings was shown at the Smithsonian Institution.{What a major collection, That a major collection, A collection was major, A major collection} ANSWER
  • 68. 22._______ increasingly being performed on calculators. {Algebraic and arithmetic operations, Arithmetic operations and also algebraic, Now that algebraic and arithmetic operations are, Arithmetic and algebraic operations are} ANSWER
  • 69. 23.Because it is durable and easy to dye,_____ an important textile fiber .{it is cotton, cotton is, which cotton is ,that is cotton} ANSWER
  • 70. 24.Nancy Heeds , _____, has run her own record company for half a century.{is the greatest contemporary singer, one of the greatest contemporary singers ,That the greatest contemporary singers , The contemporary singers were greatest } ANSWER
  • 71. 25.The news ___ good today . {is ,are} ANSWER
  • 72. 26.The piano as well as the pipe organ ____________ to be tuned for the big concert.{have , has} ANSWER
  • 73. 27.The mayor together with his two brothers ____________ going to be indicted for accepting bribes. {is , are} ANSWER
  • 74. 28.Neither of my two suitcases ____________ adequate for this trip. {is , are} ANSWER
  • 75. 29.There ____________ a list of committee members on the head-table. {is , are} ANSWER
  • 76. 30.Everybody in the class ____________ done the homework well in advance. {has , have} ANSWER
  • 77. 31.The jury ____________ their seats in the courtroom. {take , takes} ANSWER
  • 78. 32.Neither the teacher nor the students ____________ to understand this assignment. {seem , seems} ANSWER
  • 79. 33. ____________ either my father or my brothers made a down-payment on the house? {have , has} ANSWER
  • 80. 34.Hartford is one of those cities that ____________ working hard to reclaim a riverfront. {is , are} ANSWER
  • 81. 35.Some of the grain ____________ gone bad. {have , has} ANSWER
  • 82. 36.John or his brother ____________ going to be responsible for this. {is ,are} ANSWER
  • 83. 37.A few of the students ____________ doing so well they can skip the next course. {is ,are} ANSWER
  • 84. 38.Either the Committee on Course Design or the Committee on College Operations ____________ these matters. {decide , decides} ANSWER
  • 85. 39.One of my instructors ____________ written a letter of recommendation for me. {have , has} ANSWER
  • 86. 40.Dr. Ferndon <a>is one of those professors <b>who <c>seems distracted <d>most of the time. ANSWER
  • 87. 41.___________ either Luis or his parents written to Angela? {have , has} ANSWER
  • 88. 42.Neither Luis nor his parents ___________ the least bit interested in keeping in touch with her. {is , are} ANSWER
  • 89. 43.Everybody <a>on this team <b>try really hard <c>to please <d>the new coach. ANSWER
  • 90. 44.Because there ___________ so many students in that class, I can sometimes sleep in the back row. {is , are} ANSWER
  • 91. 45.Neither traffic light--neither the one on Asylum Avenue nor the one on Farmington Avenue-- ___________ working after the storm. {was , were} ANSWER
  • 92. 46.Mr. Bradley, <a>along with his two sisters, <b>have lived <c>in this town <d>for thirty years. ANSWER
  • 93. 47.There ___________ no reasons for this horrible development that I can see. {is , are} ANSWER
  • 94. 48.Some of the water ___________ already gone bad. {have , has} ANSWER
  • 95. 49.One of these students ___________ obviously cheated on the exam. {have , has} ANSWER
  • 96. 50.Either the UConn Women's Team or the UConn Men's Team ___________ going to be national champion this year. {is , are} ANSWER
  • 97. KEY 1. a. The boy 2. c. has provided 3. has 4. is 5. b. their have 6. b. have depressed 7. are 8. have 9. is 10. is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  • 98. KEY 11. is 12. b. exist 13. is called 14. analyze 15. The making 16. a leading figure 17. were introduced 18. sweet cider is served 19. that draws 20. the first physicist 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
  • 99. KEY 21. A major collection 22. Arithmetic and algebraic operations are 23. cotton is 24. one of the greatest contemporary singers 25. is 26. has 27. is 28. is 29. is 30. has 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
  • 100. KEY 31. take 32. seem 33. has 34. are 35. has 36. is 37. are 38. decides 39. has 40. c. seem 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
  • 101. KEY 41. has 42. are 43. b. tries 44. are 45. was 46. has lived 47. are 48. has 49. has 50. is 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
  • 102. MEMBER
  • 103. Name Nattiya Mattanaputi Class M.6/4 No.21
  • 104. Name Sathima Leewongvorakul Class m.6/4 No.24
  • 105. Name Juthamas Boonklan Class m.6/4 No.25