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Subject-Verb Agreement

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by

Vince Briones

on 16 September 2014

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Transcript of Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-Verb Agreement
There are different rules of Subject-Verb Agreement.
The basic rule applies:
Singular subjects need singular verbs; plural subjects need plural verbs
Example:

My
brother is
a nurse. My
sisters are
doctors.
In this presentation, the subjects will be in
red
and the verbs will be in
yellow
.
Example:

The
list
of instructions
is
on your screen.
The indefinite pronouns such as
anyone
,
everyone
,
every one
,
someone
,
no one
,
somebody
,
nobody
,
everybody
, and
each
are
always singular
and, therefore, require singular verbs.
Pronouns that indicate portions such as
all
,
some
, and
none
are
singular or plural
depending on the subject in the
“of phrase”
(whether it’s
countable or not
).
Other words that indicate fractions such as
half of
,
a part of
,
a percentage of
, and
a majority of
work the same way as
all
,
some
, and
none
.

Sums
and
products of mathematical processes
are
singular
.

Use a
singular
verb as well for
sums of money
and
periods of time
.
As a general rule,
use a plural verb with two or more subjects when they are connected by
and
, unless they are referring to a single object or thing.
Phrases such as
together with
,
as well as
, and
along with
are not the same as and.
Ignore these phrases
and focus on the subject before it.
The conjunctions
or
,
nor
,
either/or
, and
neither/nor
are ignored;
the subject closer to the verb
determines whether the verb is singular or plural.

However, whenever possible, it is a good idea to
put the plural subject closer to the verb
so the sentence doesn’t sound awkward.
The pronouns
neither
and
either
are
singular
and require singular verbs even though the may seem to refer to two things.
Either
of the clients
is
available right now.
The words
here
and
there
are
never subjects
.
Here
are

two apples
.
Here
is

one apple
.
Sometimes modifiers will get between a subject and its verb, but these modifiers must be
ignored
when determining the number of the verb.
The
client
, who already called other agents but who is also like a baby who has a lot of complaints,
is
going to call back tomorrow.
That
agent
, one who has been to other countries, and who has worked for different companies,
is
still ignorant.
Some words that end in
–s
appear be plural but are actually singular and therefore require singular verbs.
The words
here
and
there
have generally been labelled as adverbs even though they indicate place. In sentences beginning with
here
or
there
, the subject follows the verb.
There
are
several
steps
we can do.
Here
is

an action
we can do.
If your sentence compounds a
positive
and a
negative
subject and one is plural, the other singular, the verb should agree with the positive subject.
The
team members
but not the manager
have
decided not to go out.
It is not the servers but the
computer
that
limits
the internet speed.
It is the
software
, not the other programs, that
slows
the computer down.
vince

Each
of the computers
is
not working well.



Everyone

has
done his or her job.


Every one
of us
is
responsible for our grades.
Some
of the
milk

is
gone.

Some
of the
calls

were
monitored.

All
of the
water

is
blue.

None
of the
agents

are
available.
Fifty percent
of the
training

is
done.
A majority
of the
installations

are
done.
Two-fifths
of the
mall

has
been destroyed.
Four times five divided by two

is
ten.
Two months
is
a long time.
Your
computer’s date
and the
current date

are
not synced.
Phineas and Ferb

is
my favorite cartoon.
Phineas
and
Ferb

are
going to the store.
The
software
, along with its other components,
needs
to be installed right now.
The
agent
together with his team mates
is
going to the beach.
The
cat
, as well as the dogs,
is
sleeping.
The
cat
and the
dog

are
sleeping.
My
manager
or

another agent

is
calling you back later today.
The
software
or the
programs

are
not installed.
Neither the
apple
nor the
oranges

are
ready to be eaten.
Are
either my
brothers
or my
sister
sleeping?
Neither
of the two phone lines
is
working.
Which shirt do you want for your birthday?
Either

is
fine with me.
There
are

two reasons
for this.
There
is
no
reason
for this.
Sometimes nouns take weird forms and can sometimes be confusing. Words such as
glasses
,
pants
,
scissors
,
fishes
,
birds
are
plural
, unless they are preceded by
collective nouns
, such as
a pair of
,
a group of
,
a flock of
, etc.
My
glasses

are
gone.
My
pair of glasses
is
gone.
A
school of fish

is
swimming in the river.
Mathematics

is
a very difficult subject for some.
Billiards

is
a very interesting sport.
Diabetes

is
one of the most common illnesses in the world.
If one of the subjects is positive and another subject is negative,
the verb should agree with the positive subject
.
The

team members
but
not the manager

have
decided not to go out.
It is the
software
,
not the other programs
, that
slows
the computer down.
It is
not the servers

but the
computer
that
limits
the internet speed.
Full transcript