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Understanding Subjects and Verbs

Grammar lesson with "Where the Red Fern Grows"
by

Kristen Johnson

on 19 February 2013

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Transcript of Understanding Subjects and Verbs

Understanding
Subjects and Verbs Don't be confused by
plural words that come after the verb. The topic of these books are dogs. Don't be confused by plural words that come between a singular subject and the verb. Little Ann, as well as Old Dan, likes to hunt. Don't be confused by phrases such as along with, together with, accompanied by, as well as, including and in addition to. Neither Billy nor Little Ann knows which way the raccoon ran. Don't be confused by
either/or and neither/nor. Sometimes a noun phrase sounds plural but describes something we think of as a single unit. These nouns phrases take a singular verb. Don't be confused by noun phrases referring to a single unit. Examples Don't be confused by nouns that look plural but are actually singular. The verb is the action word in the sentence.

The subject is who or what does the action. Billy's biggest problem are the many
sleepless nights. Billy's biggest problem is the many
sleepless nights. wrong right singular subject singular verb Which is correct? The hound search for mountain lions. The hound searches for mountain lions. Old Dan see raccoons. Old Dan sees raccoons. The topic of these books is dogs. wrong right singular subject singular verb Which is correct? Each of the dogs hunt well. Each of the dogs hunts well. Every one of the members of both hunting teams are here. Every one of the members of both hunting teams is here. Each of the traps needs to be set. Each of the traps need to be set The boy in the brown shoes wants a lollipop. The boy in the brown shoes want a
lollipop. Little Ann, as well as Old Dan, like to hunt. right wrong singular subject singular verb Which is correct? Billy, in addition to all the other boys in the mountains, grow up loving hound dogs. Billy, in addition to all the other boys in the mountains, grows up loving hound dogs. Papa, as well as Mama, worries about Billy being out all night long. Papa, as well as Mama, worry about Billy being out all night long. Cornbread, in addition to some warm milk, are good for puppies. Cornbread, in addition to some warm milk, is good for puppies. Neither the boys nor the girls know which way the raccoon ran. Both parts are plural, so use the plural verb. Both parts are singular, so use the singular verb. Neither the dogs nor Billy knows which way the raccoon ran. Choose the subject that comes right before the verb and made it agree. Neither Billy nor the dogs know which way the raccoon ran. singular subject + singular verb plural subject + plural verb One part of the subject is plural and one part is singular. Which one is correct? Either Little Ann or Old Dan hunt during the heat of the summer. Either Little Ann or Old Dan hunts during the heat of the summer. Neither the boys or their mother sings in the church choir. Neither the boys or their mother sing in the church choir. Either Grandpa or Billy grinds corn at the general store. Either Grandpa or Billy grind corn at the general store. Spaghetti and meatballs is my favorite dinner. Ice cream and cake is my favorite dessert. singular verb singular verb Which is correct? Peanut butter and jelly are Billy's favorite sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly is Billy's favorite sandwich. Macaroni and cheese is a healthy food. Macaroni and cheese are a healthy food. The news of the coon hunt spreads through the town. Mumps makes one's cheeks hurt and causes swelling and fever. Mathematics is my best subject in school. singular singular singular Where are the verbs? Which is correct? Measles is contagious. Measles are contagious. Don't be confused by
nouns of amount. So... Use a singular verb with sums of money or periods of time. Five hundred dollars are a lot of money. Five hundred dollars is a lot of money. wrong right singular subject singular verb Which is right? Three hours are a long time wait. Three hours is a long time to wait. Forty dollars buy two coon hounds. Forty dollars buys two coon hounds. Two years totals a long time for Billy to save his money. Two years total a long time for Billy to save his money. No big deal? Usually not, but here are a few rules just in case you find yourself confused. Where are the subjects? A singular subject needs a singular verb, and a plural subject needs a plural verb. Subjects and verbs must work together.

They must agree. A verb that ends in a single -s, -es, or -ies  is used with a singular noun. Examples Examples A verb that does not end in a single s, es, or ies is used with a plural noun. 1. Billy (fix, fixes) breakfast before heading home. Practice – Number your paper from 1 to 15. Write the correct answer for each of the following items. 2. The boy pup (play, plays) with the girl pup. 3. Each of the names (sound, sounds) perfect to Billy's ears. 4. With his extra money, Billy (buy, buys) gifts for his family. 5. Ma (cry, cries) with relief when she sees that Billy is safe. 6. Billy names the boy pup Old Dan. He (like, likes) the sound of the name. 7. Billy tells his sisters that the soda pop (taste, tastes) sweet and bubbly. 8. The fire escape was a pipe that ran up the side of the building that (appear, appears) funny-looking. 9. Little Ann was the smartest of the two hound because she (guide, guides) Old Dan out of trouble. 10. Papa easily forgives Billy for running off since he (know, knows) he would have done the same thing at Billy's age. 11. Which of the following is written correctly?

A. Billy want to go to school.

B. Grandpa loves to tease Billy.

C. Daisy give milk each day.

D. Papa please Mama with a hug. 12. Which of the following sentences does NOT contain a mistake?

A. She eat the candy one piece at a time.

B. News spread quickly through the mountains.

C. Neither Billy nor his grandpa like eating raw eggs .

D. Wilson Rawls narrates a wonderful story!   13. Choose the answer that is written correctly.

A. One of the dogs bellows through the night.

B. The woman with all the dogs talk to Billy at the store.

C. The boy on the playground fight Billy.

D. Everybody play games in the schoolyard.
  14. Which of the following sentences does not contain a mistake?

A. The family love to eat dinner at 6:00 P.M.

B. Everyone sees Billy in his overalls.

C. An old K. C. Baking Powder can fill to the top with coins.

D. Billy count his money every day until he has enough to buy the pups.
  15. Choose the answer that is written correctly.

A. Each day brings a new joy to Billy.

B. Either Little Ann or Old Dan play games through the woods going home.

C. Billy love his grandpa.

D. It sound like the mountain lion would cry all night long.

  Singular Subject Singular Verb Old Dan Little Ann Fire Mama bellows shares glows fixes Plural Subject Plural Verb Old Dan and Little Ann The coon hounds The two fires Billy's parents bellow share glow fix I know it's a weird rule, but there is no -s ending for plural verbs. When it comes to singular verbs, think -s.
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