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subject verb-agreement BEL260
Transcript of subject verb-agreement BEL260
Collective nouns such as team and staff may be either singular or plural depending on their use in the sentence.
Examples: The staff is in a meeting. Staff is acting as a unit here. The staff are in disagreement about the findings. The staff are acting as separate individuals in this example. The sentence would read even better as: The staff members are in disagreement about the findings. Rule 14
Sometimes the pronoun who, that, or which is the subject of a verb in the middle of the sentence. The pronouns who, that, and which become singular or plural according to the noun directly in front of them. So, if that noun is singular, use a singular verb. If it is plural, use a plural verb.
Examples: Salma is the scientist who writes/write the reports. The word in front of who is scientist, which is singular. Therefore, use the singular verb writes. He is one of the men who does/do the work. The word in front of who is men, which is plural. Therefore, use the plural verb do. Rule 10
The expression the number is followed by a singular verb while the expression a number is followed by a plural verb.
Examples: The number of people we need to hire is thirteen. A number of people have written in about this subject.
When either and neither are subjects, they always take singular verbs.
Examples: Neither of them is available to speak right now. Either of us is capable of doing the job. Rule 8
The pronouns each, everyone, every one, everybody, anyone, anybody, someone, andsomebody are singular and require singular verbs. Do not be misled by what follows of.
Examples: Each of the girls sings well. Every one of the cakes is gone.
NOTE: Everyone is one word when it means everybody. Every one is two words when the meaning is each one. Rule 7
Sometimes the subject is separated from the verb by words such as along with, as well as, besides, or not. Ignore these expressions when determining whether to use a singular or plural verb.
Examples: The politician, along with the newsmen, is expected shortly. Excitement, as well as nervousness, is the cause of her shaking. Rule 5
When a singular and plural subject are connected by either/or or neither/nor, put the plural subject last and use a plural verb.
Example: Neither Jenny nor the others are available.
As a general rule, use a plural verb with two or more subjects when they are connected by and.
Example: A car and a bike are my means of transportation. Rule 1
Two singular subjects connected by or or nor require a singular verb.
Example: My aunt or my uncle is arriving by train today.
Two singular subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor require a singular verb as in Rule 1.
Examples: Neither Juan nor Carmen is available. Either Kiana or Casey is helping today with stage decorations. RULES To make a noun plural, we add –s
To make a verb plural, we take away the –s.
Singular: he talks
Plural: they talk Rule 12
The words here and there have generally been labeled as adverbs even though they indicate place. In sentences beginning with here or there, the subject follows the verb.
Examples: There are four hurdles to jump. There is a high hurdle to jump.
Use a singular verb with sums of money or periods of time.
Examples: Ten dollars is a high price to pay. Five years is the maximum sentence for that offense. Rule 9
With words that indicate portions—percent, fraction, part, majority, some, all, none, remainder, and so forth —look at the noun in your of phrase (object of the preposition) to determine whether to use a singular or plural verb. If the object of the preposition is singular, use a singular verb. If the object of the preposition is plural, use a plural verb.
Examples: Fifty percent of the pie has disappeared. Pie is the object of the preposition of. Fifty percent of the pies have disappeared. Pies is the object of the preposition. One-third of the city is unemployed. One-third of the people are unemployed. Rule 3
When I is one of the two subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor, put it second and follow it with the singular verb am.
Example: Neither she nor I am going to the festival.
When a singular subject is connected by or or nor to a plural subject, put the plural subject last and use a plural verb.
Example: The serving bowl or the plates go on that shelf. Relative Pronouns (who/which/that) can be either singular or plural, depending on the word they refer to.
The student who works hard will succeed.
The students who work hard will succeed. Possible Pitfalls Sometimes, the subject will come after the verb, in questions or when sentence begins with there.
Why is he falling asleep?
Why are they falling asleep?
There is no excuse for such behavior.
There are no excuses for such behavior Possible Pitfalls Example
Everybody loves grammar!
Everybody understands subject/verb agreement. Watch out for “Everybody”
Generally, if the subject doesn’t end in –S, the verb will.
If the subject does end in –S, the verb won’t Tip for Subject-verb Agreement DO
He does They do
She has They have
He is They are
She was They were Remember the 3 irregular verbs Verb Endings If there are two or more subjects joined by or, the verb agrees with the part of the subject closest to it.
The professor or the students walk the halls.
The students or the professor walks the halls. Compound subjects joined by “or” WE AGREE SUBJECT- VERB agreement -S on verb N0 -S on subject
The girl dances Example Plural verb Plural subject Singular verb Singular subject EVERY VERB MUST AGREE WITH ITS SUBJECT No –s on verb -s on subject
The girls dance Example THE END!! A BUG GROUP