SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT 1. A verb must agree with its subject in person and in number. Ex. a. Rita listens. b.

They cry for help. 2. You, always ties with a plural verb form. Ex. a. You are sweet. b. You have been very kind to me. 3. Nouns ending in “s” but singular in meaning, such as news, politics, physics, economics, etc. take singular verbs. Ex. a. Physics is my favorite subject. b. Dramatics is fascinating. 4. Collective nouns such as class, jury, team, etc. take a singular verb or plural verb depending on whether the group is thought of as a whole or as individuals. Ex. a. The class has prepared a report. (class thought of as a whole) b. The class do not agree on the report. (class thought of as individuals) 5. The indefinite words each, everybody, anyone, anybody, everyone, every, someone, somebody, nobody, no one, another, anything, either, neither, take singular verbs. Ex. a. Everyone is excited for the test. b. Each of them is responsible. 6. The expression “a number” takes plural verb; the expression “the number” takes singular verb. Ex. a. A number of students are absent. b. The number of students is very small. 7. An amount of money, space of time, or a unit of measurement takes a singular verb even when the form is plural. Ex. a. Five pesos is not much. b. Three weeks’ vacation was all he wanted. 8. Fractions are singular or plural depending upon the “of phrase”. Ex. a. One-third of the apple is rotten. b. One-third of the apples are rotten. 9. Intervening words (with, together with, together, as well as, in addition to, including, accompanied by) do not affect the verb. Ex. a. The mother, with all her children is here. b. The machine, with all its parts, sells for five hundred pesos. 10. The words some, few, and many take plural verb form. Ex. a. Some were requested to join the picnic. b. Few were absent during the meeting yesterday. 11. The expression “there is” is followed by singular noun; the expression “there are” is followed by plural noun. Ex. a. There is no solution to that problem. b. There are no answers to those questions. Note: In the formal usage, a compound subject composed of several singular nouns takes a plural verb. Ex. a. On the crown of the hill, there a miniature plaza, a miniature governor’s palace and a miniature cathedral. b. There are a man, a woman, and a child in the room. 12. If two subjects and are joined by or, either…or, neither…nor, the verb agrees with the subject nearer it. Ex. a. Neither the girls nor the boy is going. b. Neither I nor you are going. 13. Compound subjects connected by “and” take a plural verb unless the subjects mean the same thing or person, or are closely associated in meaning. If different persons are meant, a plural verb is used. Ex. a. Paula and Carlos are here. b. Bread and butter is wholesome food. (closely associated in meaning) c. My classmate and cousin is here. (same person)


d. My friend and my cousin are here. (different persons) 14. The verb agrees with subject, not the predicate word. Ex. My objection is the many dangers to be encountered. 15. Adjectives used as nouns are considered plural. Ex. The poor are to be helped. 16. In the use of arithmetical expressions, the following are accepted: Ex. a. Five plus five is ten. b. Six and six are twelve. c. One-fourth of twelve is three. d. Five times two are ten. e. Five minus two is three. 17. “It ” used to introduce a sentence is always followed by a singular verb whether the noun that follows is singular or plural. Ex. a. It is the school which must assume the responsibility. b. It is a fundamental law of nature. 18. When the subject is a title, the name of a book, a clause, a quotation, or group of words expressing a single idea, the verb is singular. Ex. a. To die is to rest is the motto of a wounded soldier. b. “Trees” is the title of the poem. c. “Songs without words” is a well-known musical piece. 19. If one subject is used affirmatively and the other negatively, the verb agrees with subject that is used affirmatively. Ex. a. She, not I, is responsible. b. You, not he, are at fault. 20. The verb ties with a relative pronoun used as subject, the relative pronoun ties with the number of the person of its antecedent. Ex. a. He is one of the ten students who are suspended. b. She is one of the attractive girls who are active. 21. Words like some, all, plenty, none maybe singular or plural depending on the word they refer to. If the refer to a mass noun, they take a singular verb. If they refer to count noun, they take a plural verb. “Much” and “a little” are always followed by a singular verb. They always refer to uncountable things. Ex. a. Some of the boys were scolded. b. None of the passengers were hurt. c. A little amount of sugar is enough for banana cue.