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Transcript of Subject-Verb Agreement
Rule #1: Singular subjects take singular verbs.
Correct: The big dog runs.
Singular verbs end in 's'.
Rule 2: Plural subjects take plural verbs.
Correct: Love songs rule the airwaves.
Plural verbs DO NOT end in 's'.
Rule #4: Agreement with subject and verbs does not change because of interrupting words.
Ignore "of cases"--it is a prep. phrase, NOT the subject.
Frequency of cases prompts KK Hospital to launch own study.
Rule #5: When subjects are joined by "or" or "nor", the verb agrees with the subject sitting CLOSEST to it.
Neither Justin Bieber nor his fans (is, are) happy about the Grammy nominations.
1. Either Mrs. Rice or Miss Hodge (is, are) giving a test today.
2. Neither my brothers nor my sister (believe, believes) in Santa.
3. Either hot pink or bright blue (is, are) good colors for prom.
4. Either the food or the drinks (was, were) bought with her money.
5. Neither the candy nor the cakes (contain, contains) high amounts of sugar.
Rule #6: When subjects are joined by 'and', the verb is plural.
Rule 6, Exception 1:
When the subjects joined by 'and' are thought of as one unit, the verb is always singular.
Rule #3: Helping verbs must agree in number with the subject.
Correct: Great lawyers are coming.
How can this be corrected?
The orange and the apple were fighting.
Macaroni and cheese is my favorite food.
Rule 6, Exception 2:
If the terms 'each' or 'every' come before a subject joined by 'and', the verb is always singular.
Every child and teen at the Justin Bieber concert has Bieber Fever.
Compound Subject Practice
1. Neither Mrs. Rice nor my other teachers (has, have) the day off today.
2. Spaghetti and meatballs (is, are) my favorite meal.
3. Both Hawaii and Alaska (contain, contains) beautiful landscapes.
4. Each native and visitor (love, loves) to explore these states.
5. Every pot and pan (is, are) clean.
Rule 7: When sentences begin with 'here' or 'there', the verb must agree with the subject (which is NEVER 'here' or 'there'!)
There were two people at the restaurant.
There was one person at each table.
Here comes the bride!
Rule 8: Use a singular verb with a collective noun that is thought of as one unit.
The New York crowd has Lin-sanity!
Rule 9: A subject that expresses an amount, a measurement, or a weight is usually singular and takes a singular verb.
Twelve dollars was the price for the popcorn.
Rule 10: Singluar nouns that ''look'' plural (i.e. economics, news, mathematics) always take a singular verb.
The news is one of my favorite things to read and watch.
Rule 11: A verb must always agree with the subject and not the predicate nominative.
One electronic issue in schools is cell phones.
Rule 12: Titles always take singular verbs.
Cars is my nephew's favorite movie.
"There" or "Here" are NEVER the subject of a sentence!