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Singular subjects take singular verbs and plural subjects take plural verbs:
True friends stab you in the front. – Oscar Wilde An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious - just dead wrong. – Russell Baker
If the subject has more than one noun/pronoun, you must be clear which one the verb refers to. The head noun and the verb must agree.
This box of cookies belongs to my sister. One (student) of the students is the representative.
Nouns joined by "and" usually require a plural verb:
Perseverance and determination keep us on the path that will get us to our goals. Passing the exams and participating fully in class are two basic requirements of the course.
*Exception #1: If the two subjects refer to the same person or thing, the subject is singular. Spaghetti and meatballs is my favourite food. Fish and chips is a popular take-away food that originated in the United Kingdom. *Exception #2: If ‘every’ comes before a compound subject, that subject will be singular. Every bowl and plate has been washed.
The verb in the main clause is not affected by a subordinate clause:
The faculty, as well as many of the tutors and students, does not understand the new university policy. The woman, accompanying her children, likes going to the Disney Resort very much.
These pronouns take a singular verb: another, anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, much, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, other, somebody, someone, something.
With love, anything is possible. Each of the group members is responsible for the wrong decision. Everybody loathes it, but everybody does it. Neither of the two computers works. Nobody has the right to take another person’s life. One of my favourite movies is "My Fair Lady". Does someone owe you money?
'Either…or' / 'neither…nor':
If these correlatives join singular subjects, the verb must be singular. If they join plural subjects, the verb must be plural: Either my father or my mother visits my brother in the US every year. In the East Asian Games, neither the Japanese nor Koreans compete well against the Chinese. If ‘either’ / ‘neither’ are followed by a singular noun and a plural noun, the verb agrees with the closest noun. Neither Mary nor her brothers play the piano. Either the 60,000 participants or the public announcer misunderstands the official regulations.
These pronouns are plural: several, few, many, others, both.
Several of my friends work at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. A few of the members were enthusiastic. Many of the ELT teachers in this centre are experienced. Be quiet, others are sleeping. Both of the brothers like playing tennis. Note: With the connecting words 'both … and', a plural verb is usually required: Both the professor and her students are going to attend the conference.
The pronouns some, most, all can be singular or plural depending on the nouns following them:
Some of the movies on TV Pearl were funny. Most of my friends are helpful. All of the books in the library are useful.
The quantity pronoun "none" usually takes a singular verb in formal English. None of the paintings is interesting to me (meaning "not one"). None of the equipment (an uncountable noun) was damaged. *Exception: In more casual spoken English, a plural verb is used when a plural noun follows ‘none’. None of the students have finished their homework (meaning "not any"; the word "their" precludes the use of the singular verb).
"A number of" or "the number of":
As a subject, "a number of + a plural noun/noun phrase" usually requires a plural verb: A number of students were present yesterday. As a subject, "the number of + a plural noun/noun phrase" always takes a singular verb as it refers to the number: The number of students who were present was small.
Collective nouns (e.g. board, choir, committee, family, faculty, jury, team, etc) are singular when considered as a group and usually take a singular verb:
Over the centuries, the choir has worked with many famous composers. The team was three players short and crushingly defeated. The herd (of elephants) clusters around the biggest male for protection.
*Exception: If individual members or parts of a group are considered separate, a plural verb is needed. The Board of Directors argue over the new budget. The dance team buy their own ballet shoes.