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Subject Verb Agreement Part 3: Confusing Subjects

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Jenn Keigher

on 19 April 2013

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Transcript of Subject Verb Agreement Part 3: Confusing Subjects

Agreement Rules Part 3: Confusing Subjects Rule #8: Rule #9: Subject Verb Agreement Rule # 7: A verb that comes before its
subject must still agree with
it in number. A collective noun takes a singular verb when the group it names act as a single unit. A collective noun takes a plural verb when the group it names act as individuals with different points of view. Subjects do not
always come
before verbs. On the top of the hill are two tractors.

Two tractors are on the top of the hill. Verb Subject Verb Subject Remember, you must
correctly identify the
subject in order to
determine whether the
verb should be singular
or plural. Example Example Near the top of the closet (is, are) an old electric fan. Near the top of the closet (is, are) an old electric fan. When a sentence starts with there or here, the subject usually follows the verb. Introductory words such as here, there, and where are never the subject of a sentence. Example Here (is, are) the papers you requested. Example Here (is, are) the papers you requested. What is a collective noun? Collective nouns are words used to define a group of persons or objects. A collective noun is singular in form. class
family
team
group
flock company
crowd
government
school
Congress Examples: Notice the nouns do not have an s. However, whether a collective noun is used with a singular or plural verb depends on whether the word is referring the group
as a or to its members as unit individuals. The jury (has, have) reached a verdict. Example The jury (has, have) reached a verdict. Example The sentence is referring to the jury as a unit;
therefore, a singular verb is needed. Example The committee (is, are) in complete disagreement. Example The committee (is, are) in complete disagreement. Example The team (is, are) eating with their families tonight. Example The team are eating with their families tonight. 1. The class (is, are) going on a field trip today.

2. There (is, are) still several oranges in the basket.

3. Here (is, are) the report you wanted.

4. There (was, were) five books on the shelf.

5. The family (is, are) coming for dinner. Practice Now it's your turn to try The words there or here at the beginning
of a sentence often signal an inverted sentence. Check the verb by mentally rewording the sentence so
that the subject comes at
the beginning. Is the message clear? Example Is the message clear? Example Now it's your turn to try Create an inverted sentence beginning with "here" or "there." When a collective noun emphasizes the parts or individuals in the group, we should use a plural verb.
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