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Two key STEPS


Identify the REAL subject of the sentence Determine whether the subject is singular or plural


1. Do not be misled by Prepositional Phrases, they are the main culprits in the misidentification of the true subject of the sentence.
Example: Among the candidates we like is Ann. The vase of flowers has intricate designs.

2. Parenthetical or Intervening Phrases such as as well as, such as, along with, rather than, including, along with, except, apart from, and together with do NOT affect the verb.
Ex: The quiz, along with the workbook exercises, was collected. His jacket, not his shirt or his socks, always seem to match his slacks.

3. There, Here (expletives) are not subjects. Disregard them completely when determining the subject that the verb must agree with. Find the subject, then the verb and determine whether it is singular or plural.
Ex. There are many students that enrolled in the French class. Joan, here is a token of our friendship.

4. Subjects that stand for definable units of money, measurement, time, organization, food, medical problems, title of books and movies always take SINGULAR verbs.
Ex. Seven months is enough time. Twenty dollars is the allowance given for the meal. Bacon and egg is my favorite breakfast meal. The Others was applauded by the critics.

5. Nouns like Economics, Politics, Statistics, Mathematics, Physics, Logistics, News and Mass Nouns like water, air, wind, space require a singular verb.
Ex. Mathematics is her favorite subject. Space is the final frontier.

6. Indefinite pronouns such as each, every, someone, anyone, everything, anything, something, anybody, somebody, everybody, nobody take SINGULAR verb. But Indefinite Pronouns such as some, many, several, most, few, all, others take PLURAL form.
Ex. Each candidate goes home with a consolation prize. Everyone is making noise. Most of them live in Mindoro. Several calls come through during midnight.

7. The number of requires a singular verb; A number of requires a plural verb.

Ex. A number of issues about the government have been raised. The number of insurgent groups in the country is increasing.

8. When the subject follows the phrase One of the , the verb must be singular.
Ex. One of the contestants does not know the steps of dance number. their

9. When the parts of a compound subjects are joined by or, but, eitheror, neithernor, not onlybut the verb must agree with the subject NEAREST to the verb.
Ex. Neither the players nor the coach wants to win the game. Either John or the employees are lying. The dog or the puppies are in the kennel.

10. When a compound subject is joined by a coordinating conjunction (AND), it takes a singular verb when referring to one unit. But when the subjects refer to different persons or things, the verb takes a plural form.
Ex. The CEO and owner of the company was Mr. John Co (same person) The mayor and the councilor were present at the meeting.(2 diff. Persons)