Subject and Verb Agreement

Rules and quiz with explained answers for English learning beginners.

Rules: 1. Subjects joined by and are usually plural Example - My friends and my mother like each other. 2. When subjects are joined by or, either...or, neither...nor, the verb must agree with the nearer subject (1). Singular subjects joined by or, either . . . or, neither . . . nor take a singular verb. Example - John or Doris writes to us regularly. (2). If one subject is singular and one is plural, the verb agrees with the nearer subject. Example - Neither the basket nor the apples were expensive. 3. When used as subjects, such words as each, either, one, everybody, and anyone regularly take singular verbs. Example - Neither of them like going to the show. 4. Every or each preceding singular subjects joined by and calls for a singular verb. Example - Each of them has a good seat. 5. Collective nouns take a singular verb when they refer to the group as a unit. Example - The committee is meeting today. 6. Collective nouns take a plural verb when they refer to individuals or parts of the group. Example - A number of students were absent.
Created by Benly Arul Page 1 of 3 1

Quiz: 1. The team and the band _____ on the field. (was / were) 2. You and I _____ supposed to clean the room before Mom gets home. (am / are) 3. Either Patty or Tom _____ asked to lead the meeting. (was / were) 4. Neither Carol nor Ted _____ excluded from the meeting. (is / are) 5. Neither the basket nor the apples _____ expensive. (was / were) 6. Either Maria or you _____ late for class. (was / were) 7. Each of them _____ a good seat. (has / have) 8. Everybody in the class _____ tickets. (has / have) 9. Every silver knife, fork, and spoon _____ to be counted. (has / have) 10. Each cat and each dog _____ its own toy. (has / have) 11. Ten million gallons of oil _____ a lot of oil. (is / are) 12. The jury _____ today. (vote / votes) 13. Ten million gallons of oil _____ spilled. (was / were) 14. The majority of us _____ in favor. (is / are)

Created by Benly Arul Page 2 of 3

2

Answers:
1. Were (Clue: Subjects joined by and are usually plural.) 2. Are (Clue: Subjects joined by and are usually plural.) 3. Was (Clue: Singular subjects joined by or, either . . . or, neither . . . nor take a singular verb.) 4. Is (Clue: Singular subjects joined by or, either . . . or, neither . . . nor take a singular verb.) 5. Were - (Clue: If one subject is singular and one is plural, the verb agrees with the nearer subject.) 6. Were - (Clue: If one subject is singular and one is plural, the verb agrees with the nearer subject.) 7. Has (Clue: When used as subjects, such words as each, either, one, everybody, and anyone regularly take singular verbs.) 8. Has (Clue: When used as subjects, such words as each, either, one, everybody, and anyone regularly take singular verbs.) 9. Has (Clue: Every or each preceding singular subjects joined by and calls for a singular verb.) 10. Has (Clue: Every or each preceding singular subjects joined by and calls for a singular verb.) 11. Is (Clue: Collective nouns take a singular verb when they refer to the group as a unit.) 12. Votes (Clue: Collective nouns take a singular verb when they refer to the group as a unit.) 13. Were - (Clue: Collective nouns take a plural verb when they refer to individuals or parts of the group.) 14. Are - (Clue: Collective nouns take a plural verb when they refer to individuals or parts of the group.)

Created by Benly Arul Page 3 of 3

3

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.