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.
Subject -Verb Agreement
•Singular Subject and Singular Verb
She studies hard.
•Plural Subject and Plural Verb
They study hard.
• Everybody helps when there is a crisis.
• Somebody wants to speak to you.
• Nobody is here
1. The following words are treated as singular subjects and
take singular verbs.
• Both were at fault in the opinion of the army
• Several women are work in the field.
both few many several
2.The following words almost always use the plural form
of verbs: Some indefinite pronouns are always plural.
• Either the play or the poems are written in this
• Either the poems or the play is written in this
3. When subjects are joined by words such as or, neither…nor,
either…or the verb must agree with the closest subject noun.
• The cook and the waitresses are asking for a
• My sister and her children were swimming all
a. If the two subjects refer to the difference person
or thing, the verb is Plural.
4. Subjects joined by “and”
• The owner and manager of the 7-Eleven was
roped last night.
• Peanut butter and jelly was always favorite
• Strawberries and cream was added to the
b. If the two subjects refer to the same person or
thing, the verb is Singular.
• Every boy and girl at the party was given a
present to take home.
• Each dog and each cat has been immunized.
• No talking and no laughing is permitted in the
c. If words like each, every, many a, or no come
before the subject, the verb is singular.
• Three weeks is a long time.
• Two hundred dollars is a lot of money.
• Twenty miles on the way seems like two
4.When units of measurement for distance, time, volume,
height, weight, money, etc. are used as subjects, they usually
take the singular verb form.
• Your advice is always appreciated.
• The new gym equipment has just been
• That information is very helpful.
5.Uncountable noun and abstract noun take a singular verb.
• A number of people are waiting to see you.
• The number of stars in the sky seems
6. The word “number”
•When the word number is preceded with the word a, use a
•When the word number is preceded with the word the, use
a singular verb.
• Saddling the wild horse was no easy task for the
• Making pies is my specialty.
• Collecting jewelry and playing the banjo are my
7. A gerund that is used as the subject of a sentence takes the
singular form of the verb. However, two gerunds linked by
“and” take the plural form of the verb.
8.Collective nouns define group of people or animal:
• The team plays well after a good night’s sleep.
(team refers to the whole group)
• The jury has been deliberating for two days.
(jury refers to the whole group)
a. Use a singular verb with collective nouns regarded
as a unit.
• The audience are crapping their hands.
• The faculty are expecting their pay raises in
(faculty and audience refer to all the individual
members, not to the group as a whole)
b. Use the plural verb if the collective noun refers to
individuals in a group.
• Statistics is not being offered this semester.
• Finkle Brothers has a sale this week.
• The Philippines has a tropical climate.
• Rickets is cause by malnutrition.
9. Some nouns that end in “s” are singular in meaning and
take singular verb.
• Two-fifths of the vineyard was destroyed by fire.
• All of the pie is gone.
• All of the cookies are gone.
• None of the oil from the car has dripped onto your
• Some of the puzzle’s pieces were found in the closet.
• Most of the movie was boring.
10.Noun and pronoun subjects like
all, any, most, none, more, part, some, half, one-half, two-
thirds, a lot of may take either a singular or plural
verb, depending on the prepositional phrase that follows
• The rich get richer.
• The poor have many problem.
11.Adjectives proceeded by THE and used as plural nouns
take a plural verb.
• Jim as well as Helen is planning the picnic.
• John together with Mary is planning the
12.With expressions AS WELL AS, IN ADDITION TO, TOGETHER
WITH, the first noun determines if the verb is singular or
• Here are the keys to your car.
• There is a tree in the garden.
• There are many trees in the garden.
13. When the verb comes before the subject as
in there or here sentences, it agrees with the subject that
immediately follows the verb.