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Grammar Boot Camp #4: Can't We All Be Friends: Subject Verb Agreement

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by

Kaley Keene

on 29 February 2016

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Transcript of Grammar Boot Camp #4: Can't We All Be Friends: Subject Verb Agreement

Subject Verb Agreement
Subject Verb Agreement means that subjects and verbs must always agree in number.
Grammar Boot Camp #4: Can't We All Be Friends: Subject Verb Agreement
By SL. Kaley Keene

There are 13 rules that must be followed to avoid subject verb agreement error.
Rule #1
Two or more subjects joined by "and" are considered plural and require a plural verb form.

ex. Mary, Elizabeth, and Anna go to the movies.

subjects
: Mary, Elizabeth, and Anna;
verb
: go

Rule # 2
If a subject is modified by the words "each" or "every", that subject is singular and will take a singular verb form.
ex. Each boy and girl walks to the store.

Subjects
: boy and girl;
verb
: walks
Rule #3
If plural subjects are joined by "or", "nor", or "but", the verb must only agree with the subject that is closest to it.

ex. Neither Tarzan nor Jane wants to go to England.

subject
: Jane;
verb
: wants
Not the dog but the cats destroy the house.

subject
: cats;
verb
: destroy
Either he or they do it.

subject
: they;
verb
: do
Rule #4
Indefinite pronouns are usually singular and take a singular verb form.

ex. Everyone has to go through hardships to achieve success.

Indefinite Pronoun
: everyone;
verb
: has
Everything about you makes my hair stand on end.

Indefinite Pronoun
: everything;
verb
: makes
Rule #5

The subject of a verb is never in a prepositional verbal phrase.

ex. The mother duck
(
with all of her little ducklings
)
walks to the pond.

subject
: duck;
verb
: walks
Rule #6

Some indefinite pronouns and nouns will be singular or plural depending on the object of the prepositional phrase. These words are always about number or amount.

ex. Some
(
of the students
)
are gone.
Most
(
of the cake
)
is gone.

Rule #7

When a collective noun, such as "family", is the subject, the singular form of the verb is used.
ex. My family with all of my crazy cousins always makes me want to stay home for the holidays.
subject
: family;
verb
: makes;
prepositional phrase
: with all of my crazy cousins
Rule #8

A few nouns, such as "economics", "mumps", or "news" end in "s" but are considered singular.

ex. The
news

has
been so tragic recently.

Rule #9

When the subject is a unit of measurement of time, distance, weight, money, etc, the singular verb form is used.
ex. One million
dollars

is
a lot of money to most people.

Rule #10

In a question or in a sentence that begins with "there" or "here", the verb will often come before the subject.

ex.
Where is
my sweater?

There are
my sweaters!
Rule #11

The verb must always agree only with the subject

ex. The biggest problem we face in our parks is the children who vandalize the play sets.

subject
: problem
verb
: is
Rule #12

Gerunds ("ing" words) can be subjects and follow all the same rules above.

ex.
Running

with friends
is
my favorite activity.

Reading
and
drawing

are
my favorite sister's favorite activities.
Rule #13

When using "who", "that" or "which", you must look to the noun these relative pronouns are referring to in order to determine whether to use a singular or plural verb.

ex. The
girl who eats
cake
is
happy.
The
girls who eat
cake
are
happy.
Thank You!!!
Happy Writing!

Typically, if the subjects are plural, the verb takes on the base from of the verb.
If the subject is singular, the verb takes on the "s" form of the verb.
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