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Agreement of Subject and Verb


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Agreement of Subject and Verb :

5 Minute English

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Agreement of Subject and Verb

  1. 1. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : Agreement of Subject and Verb
  2. 2. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : A verb should always agree with its subject in number. Singular subjects take singular verbs. Plural subjects take plural verbs. SINGULAR She sings in the school choir. PLURAL They sing in the school choir. SINGULAR Ahmed is staying home from school. PLURAL His friends are bringing his homework to him.
  3. 3. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : The number of the subject is not changed by a phrase following the subject. Plural Friends of the girl are sympathetic. PLURAL Tears, absent in the day, fall at night. SINGULAR The aim of her stories is to express truth. PLURAL The words of their mother reassure them. The number of the subject is not changed by a negative construction following the subject. Miami, not the Florida Keys, is their home. The number of the subject is also not affected when it is followed by a phrase beginning with as well as, along with, in addition to, or a similar expression. The teacher, as well as her students, looks forward to spring break.
  4. 4. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : The following indefinite pronouns are singular: anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, somebody, someone, and something. One of her mother’s friends asks about Jim. Somebody in the class does not use commas.
  5. 5. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : The following indefinite pronouns are plural: both, few, many, and several. Both of the boys want to stay. Several of the students offer explanations.
  6. 6. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : The indefinite pronouns all, any, most, none, and some are singular when they refer to singular words and are plural when they refer to plural words. SINGULAR Most of the garden still needs to be weeded. PLURAL Most of the plants also need to be watered. SINGULAR All of the kitchen was clean. PLURAL All of them began to run.
  7. 7. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : A compound subject, which is two or more subjects that have the same verb, may be singular, plural, or either. (1)Subjects joined by and usually take a plural verb. Eddie and Lee sleep in bunk beds. Jean and her mother talk in the car. A compound subject that names only one person or thing takes a singular verb. A compound noun used as a subject also takes a singular verb. Jean’s friend and classmate was Nancy Dryer. Has law and order been restored yet? (2) Singular subjects joined by or or nor take a singular verb. Eddie or Jean washes dishes. Neither Mother nor Roger wants to return to Indiana with us. (3) When a singular subject and a plural subject are joined by or or nor, the verb agrees with the subject nearer the verb. Neither the plot nor the characters were too complex. Neither the characters nor the plot was too complex.
  8. 8. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : NOTE: If such a construction sounds awkward, revise the sentence to give each part of the subject its own verb. The plot wasn’t too complex, and neither were the characters.
  9. 9. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : Don’t and doesn’t must agree with their subjects. Use don’t (do not) with the subjects I and you and with plural subjects. I don’t agree. You don’t sound well. Some people don’t listen. With other subjects, use doesn’t (does not). She doesn’t bring a lunch. It doesn’t matter.
  10. 10. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : A collective noun (such as club, family, or swarm) is singular in form but names a group of persons or things. A collective noun takes a singular verb when the noun refers to the group as a unit. However, a collective noun takes a plural verb when the noun refers to the parts or members of the group. SINGULAR The family is going home. [family = a unit] PLURAL The family are getting into the van. [family = individual family members] Common Collective Nouns army committee flock pair audience crew group public band crowd herd squad choir faculty jury staff class family majority swarm club fleet number team
  11. 11. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : A verb agrees with its subject, not with its predicate nominative. SINGULAR The best part of her lunch is the cheese and crackers. PLURAL The cheese and crackers are the best part of her lunch.
  12. 12. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : A verb agrees with its subject even when the verb precedes the subject, as in sentences beginning with here or there and in questions. Contractions such as here’s and there’s are used only with subjects that are singular in meaning. SINGULAR Here is [or here’s] my locker. PLURAL Here are the lockers. SINGULAR Where is [or where’s] the school bus? PLURAL Where are your gym clothes?
  13. 13. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : An expression of an amount (a length of time, a statistic, or a fraction, for example) is singular when the amount is thought of as a unit or when it refers to a singular word. However, such an expression is plural when the amount is thought of as many parts or when it refers to a plural word. SINGULAR Twenty-five cents is the amount Dad gave my brother. PLURAL Twenty-five cents were jingling in his pocket. SINGULAR One half of the class has finished. PLURAL A number of students have transferred.
  14. 14. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : The title of a creative work (such as a book, song, film, or painting) or the name of an organization, a country, or a city (even if it is plural in form) takes a singular verb. “Boys and Girls” was written by Alice Munro. The United States is voting in favor of the measure.
  15. 15. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : Some nouns that are plural in form are singular in meaning. Nouns that always take singular verbs include civics, gymnastics, measles, news, electronics, mathematics, molasses, and physics. Mathematics is my favorite course. Some nouns that end in -s, such as the following, take a plural verb even though they refer to single items: binoculars, pants, shears, Olympics, eyeglasses, pliers, shorts, and scissors. The scissors are in the sewing basket.
  16. 16. Mr. El-Sayed Ramadan : Subjects preceded by every or many a take singular verbs. Many a [or Every] child wants a dog.