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Subject-Verb

Agreement

Whats wrong with these sentences?


There

is too many pictures on


the wall.
Everybody but Julio want to go
home.
All the people wants to live
happily.

Basic Rule
Present

tense verbs in English should


agree with the subject of the
sentence
Singular subjects need singular
verbs.
Plural subjects need plural verbs.
To be correct, subjects and verbs must
agree in number

Compound Subjects using And


Most

compound subjects joined by and


are plural
Bert and Ernie are special friends.
Exception: If the words joined by and
refer to a single thing, the subject is also
singular
War and Peace is a very thick book.
(singular)
My friend and co-worker is waiting to
see you. (singular

Compound Subjects using Or


When

the subject is joined with or,


nor not only.but also the verb
agrees with the words closest to the verb
Neither the instructor nor the students have
any control over the number of 8 oclock
classes.
Either two credit cards or a membership is
needed before you can rent movies.
Not only the students but also Prof. Abbas is
waiting for the keynote speakers.

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns are singular

every, everyone, everybody, each, neither, either, none, one, no one


Every

student has a unique student number.


None of us admits to sending the e-mail
message.
Someone has to answer the phone.
Ignore prepositional phrases coming between the
subject and the verb
Each of the five departments is hiring new
instructors.

These create problems:

Verbs that accompany pronouns such as all and


some will be determined by whether the pronoun is
referring to something that is COUNTABLE or not
Some of the workers on the building have left for the day.
Some of the salt was spilled on the floor.

None is usually regarded as singular, but it can be


used as a plural pronoun.
None of the boys has helped at the game.
OR

Either is correct!

None of the boys have helped at the game.

Collective Nouns
Words

such as jury, committee, or herd


will be singular when everyone in the
group is acting together
The jury is deciding the fate of the
accused.
Collective nouns will be plural when the
members of the group are not acting
together
The jury are undecided on the guilt of
the accused.

Here, There, and It


When

the sentence begins with


Here or There, the subject follows
the verb and controls whether the
verb is plural or singular
Here

are my reasons for quitting.


(plural)

It

is always singular

It

was the long hours that bothered me.


(singular)

Words Ending in S
Words

such as economics, AIDS,


physics and news are singular
Economics

is fun and exciting.


The news is usually broadcast live.
Words

such as scissors, eyeglasses


and pants that name things with two
parts are plural
My

glasses were broken when I did a


face plant.

Money and Measurement


Units

of time, money, distance, and


weight use singular verbs
Twenty

kilometres is a long distance to


skate to work each day.
Eight dollars an hour is a poor rate.
The

expression the number is


singular
The

The

number of failures is decreasing.

expression a number is plural

A number of people are leaving.

The subject and verb are the skeleton of every sentence.


Make sure you fit those two important parts together
correctly!

Error Correction. Correct the mistakes in the


following sentences
Either the tests or the papers has been misplaced.
2. Every man, woman, and child want Clint Eastwoods autograph.
3. The employees who offers the best suggestions will receive a
weeks paid trip to Hawaii.
4. She never cry when she have an argument with she boyfriends.
5. Before the final number of the evening, some of the orchestras
retired members were asked to come to the stage and joined in
the orchestras signature piece.
6. Please pass this memo on to the first person who receive a
prank phone call.
7. Sixteen miles take twenty minutes on the highway.
8. Somewhere in the office are the original and one clean copy of
my report.
9. Each of the sweaters she had bought on sale have minor flaws.
10. The professors at this college is nice, but they gives to many
assignments.
1.