Subject/Verb Agreement Power Point Notes 1.

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Subject/Verb Agreement
Power Point Notes
1.
2.
3.
4.
Either of the answers (is / are) correct.
One of the tapes (belong / belongs) to Sarah.
There (is / are) a carton of eggs in the refrigerator.
The herd of elephants (was / were) fighting for
position by the river.
5. John, with his two friends, (is / are) using my
football.
Subject/Verb Agreement
Power Point Notes
1.
2.
3.
4.
Either of the answers (is / are) correct.
One of the tapes (belong / belongs) to Sarah.
There (is / are) a carton of eggs in the refrigerator.
The herd of elephants (was / were) fighting for
position by the river.
5. John, with his two friends, (is / are) using my
football.
AGREEMENT
• A verb agrees with its subject in
number. (singular or plural)
• The number of a subject is not changed
by an intervening phrase or clause
between the subject and the verb.
AGREEMENT
Examples:
a. The descriptions in the poem about
Paul Revere almost (makes / make) me forget
where I am.
b. Every student who wants to pass Miss
Griffin’s class (memorizes / memorize) a few
lines of a poem.
AGREEMENT
Examples:
a. The descriptions in the poem about
Paul Revere almost (makes / make) me forget
where I am.
b. Every student who wants to pass Miss
Griffin’s class (memorizes / memorize) a few
lines of a poem.
Exercise A ~ Circle the form of the verb in parentheses
that agrees with its subject.
1. The capacious houses on my block (has / have) four
stories.
2. My favorite collection of poems (is / are) Where the
Sidewalk Ends.
3. People in some states (observe / observes) the
fourth Friday in September as Native American
Day.
4. The crowd, listening to the storyteller, (was / were)
spellbound.
5. The cucumbers in my garden (grow / grows) very
quickly.
Exercise A ~ Circle the form of the verb in parentheses
that agrees with its subject.
1. The capacious houses on my block (has / have) four
stories.
2. My favorite collection of poems (is / are) Where the
Sidewalk Ends.
3. People in some states (observe / observes) the
fourth Friday in September as Native American
Day.
4. The crowd, listening to the storyteller, (was / were)
spellbound.
5. The cucumbers in my garden (grow / grows) very
quickly.
6. The arbitrary decision of the umpires (was / were)
overruled.
7. The depth of some of these lakes (has / have) never
been measured.
8. His answers to our question (change / changes)
everything.
9. Clarity in writing and speaking (are / is) paramount
to success.
10. Those birds flying through the trees (is / are)
finches.
11. The book on ancient legends (was / were)
interesting.
6. The arbitrary decision of the umpires (was / were)
overruled.
7. The depth of some of these lakes (has / have) never
been measured.
8. His answers to our question (change / changes)
everything.
9. Clarity in writing and speaking (are / is) paramount
to success.
10. Those birds flying through the trees (is / are)
finches.
11. The book on ancient legends (was / were)
interesting.
Exercise B ~ Place an S above the subject of the verb in
parentheses. Then circle the form of the verb in parentheses
that agrees with its subject.
1. Koalas in the wild and in captivity (eat / eats) only
eucalyptus leaves.
2. The skaters, moving effortlessly, (dance / dances) across
the ice.
3. Some lighthouses on the coast (has / have) not been
occupied for years.
4. The mean cockroaches in the ramshackle building
(laugh / laughs) at Raid!
5. Nell, with her three dogs close behind, (run / runs)
through the park every day.
Exercise B ~ Place an S above the subject of the verb in
parentheses. Then circle the form of the verb in parentheses
that agrees with its subject.
1. Koalas in the wild and in captivity (eat / eats) only
eucalyptus leaves.
2. The skaters, moving effortlessly, (dance / dances) across
the ice.
3. Some lighthouses on the coast (has / have) not been
occupied for years.
4. The mean cockroaches in the ramshackle building
(laugh / laughs) at Raid!
5. Nell, with her three dogs close behind, (run / runs)
through the park every day.
6. The seams in my new coat (has split / have split) after
only two days.
7. The postal clerk, hurrying, (place / places) the mail in
the wrong place.
8. One of my son’s worst habits (is / are) leaving an
assortment of dirty plates on the kitchen counter every
morning.
9. The rust spots on the back of Maria’s car (require /
requires) cleaning with a special kind of polish.
10. The collection of medicine bottles in my bathroom
(overflow / overflows) the cabinet shelves.
11. The book that Steve ordered (have / has) arrived at the
book store.
6. The seams in my new coat (has split / have split) after
only two days.
7. The postal clerk, hurrying, (place / places) the mail in
the wrong place.
8. One of my son’s worst habits (is / are) leaving an
assortment of dirty plates on the kitchen counter every
morning.
9. The rust spots on the back of Maria’s car (require /
requires) cleaning with a special kind of polish.
10. The collection of medicine bottles in my bathroom
(overflow / overflows) the cabinet shelves.
11. The book that Steve ordered (have / has) arrived at the
book store.
12. The water (drip / drips) from the rain spout.
13. The competitive sprinters (dash / dashes) across the
finish line.
14. Her plan to eat healthily (was / were) interesting.
15. We (water / waters) all of our plants each week.
16. The new carpets (cover / covers) the floors in the whole
house.
17. The ring that I lost on the beach last summer (belong /
belongs) to my great-grandmother.
18. My parents (have / has) been thinking about moving to a
new house.
19. Every Saturday I (clean / cleans) my room.
20. The dexterous ballet dancers (float / floats) across the
stage like angels.
12. The water (drip / drips) from the rain spout.
13. The competitive sprinters (dash / dashes) across the
finish line.
14. Her plan to eat healthily (was / were) interesting.
15. We (water / waters) all of our plants each week.
16. The new carpets (cover / covers) the floors in the whole
house.
17. The ring that I lost on the beach last summer (belong /
belongs) to my great-grandmother.
18. My parents (have / has) been thinking about moving to
a new house.
19. Every Saturday I (clean / cleans) my room.
20. The dexterous ballet dancers (float / floats) across the
stage like angels.
INDEPENDENT PRACTICE: Circle the form of the verb
in parentheses that agrees with its subject. On the line
before each sentence, classify each italicized word by
writing S for singular or P for plural.
_____ 1. It is amazing that oysters (create / creates) such
beautiful pearls.
_____ 2. In the spring, trees (sprout / sprouts) leaves
quickly when it rains.
_____ 3. The author whom I’ve chosen for my report (is /
are) Amy Tan.
_____ 4. Tomorrow’s championship game (has / have) been
rescheduled.
INDEPENDENT PRACTICE: Circle the form of the verb
in parentheses that agrees with its subject. On the line
before each sentence, classify each italicized word by
writing S for singular or P for plural.
P
1. It is amazing that oysters (create / creates) such
beautiful pearls.
P
2. In the spring, trees (sprout / sprouts) leaves
quickly when it rains.
S
3. The author whom I’ve chosen for my report (is /
are) Amy Tan.
S
4. Tomorrow’s championship game (has / have) been
rescheduled.
_____ 5. The man who arrived late (look / looks) like my
grandfather.
_____ 6. Our local library (offer / offers) a huge selection
of best-sellers.
_____ 7. The winner of the grand prize (is / are) the spaniel.
_____ 8. Musicians from our high school (perform /
performs) at the end of the show.
_____ 9. Concerned parents (is / are) encouraging their
children to wear sunscreen.
_____ 10. The animals that live in the game preserve (is /
are) protected from hunters.
S
5. The man who arrived late (look / looks) like my
grandfather.
S
6. Our local library (offer / offers) a huge selection
of best-sellers.
S
7. The winner of the grand prize (is / are) the spaniel.
P
8. Musicians from our high school (perform /
performs) at the end of the show.
P
9. Concerned parents (is / are) encouraging their
children to wear sunscreen.
P
10. The animals that live in the game preserve (is /
are) protected from hunters.
Problems with “Either” and “Neither”
• Write down original sentences using the word
“either”– in whatever capacity it can be used.
See if you can write 3 original sentences
which use “either” in a distinctive way.
• When you are finished w/ “either,” start on
“neither!” Do the same thing– write 3 original
sentences, with each sentence using “neither”
in a distinctive way.
Think hard and good luck!
See if your sentences match these:
A. Either of the scores is sufficient to make the
cutoff for the honor society.
B. Either girl would be a fine choice for class
president.
C. Either the eighth graders or the ninth graders
routinely win the award for best behaved class in
the cafeteria.
What part of speech is “either” in each sentence?
See if your sentences match these:
A. My opinion is that neither of your ideas is
workable.
B. Neither idea addresses the issues of paramount
concern to the staff.
C. His forgiveness was neither asked for nor
attained.
What part of speech is “neither” in each sentence?
Singular Subjects
(2)
Singular subjects agree with singular verbs.
The following singular indefinite pronouns
can function as subjects of sentences and
therefore require singular verbs:
another
anybody
anyone
anything
each
either
everybody
everyone
everything
neither
nobody
no one
one
somebody
someone
something
Examples:
Neither [of the two candidates] (was / were) present.
Each [of these shirts] (cost / costs) twelve dollars.
Singular Subjects
(2)
Singular subjects agree with singular verbs.
The following singular indefinite pronouns
can function as subjects of sentences and
therefore require singular verbs:
another
anybody
anyone
anything
each
either
everybody
everyone
everything
neither
nobody
no one
one
somebody
someone
something
Examples:
Neither [of the two candidates] (was / were) present.
Each [of these shirts] (cost / costs) twelve dollars.
Exercise A ~ Circle the form of the verb in (2)
parentheses that agrees with the subject.
1. Either of the disc jockeys ( have / has )
brought the records.
2. Neither of my sisters ( enjoys / enjoy )
gardening.
3. Neither of my brothers ( have / has ) a car.
4. One of my cousins ( watch / watches )
videos every day.
5. Each of the marchers ( was / were )
carrying a sign.
Exercise A ~ Circle the form of the verb in (2)
parentheses that agrees with the subject.
1. Either of the disc jockeys ( have / has )
brought the records.
2. Neither of my sisters ( enjoys / enjoy )
gardening.
3. Neither of my brothers ( have / has ) a car.
4. One of my cousins ( watch / watches )
videos every day.
5. Each of the marchers ( was / were )
carrying a sign.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
(2)
No one passing the store window ( notice /
notices ) the sparkling holiday display.
In the corner ( stands / stand ) one of the
disgruntled suspects.
Everybody in Mr. Cooper’s and Mrs.
Oliver’s classes ( files/file ) down to the lab.
Everyone who eats his or her vegetables
( get / gets ) dessert!
Every one of the tantalizing cakes ( is/are )
gone.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
(2)
No one passing the store window ( notice /
notices ) the sparkling holiday display.
In the corner ( stands / stand ) one of the
disgruntled suspects.
Everybody in Mr. Cooper’s and Mrs.
Oliver’s classes ( files/file ) down to the lab.
Everyone who eats his or her vegetables
( get / gets ) dessert!
Every one of the tantalizing cakes ( is/are )
gone.
(2)
12. Nobody ( knows / know ) why the
neighbors moved out so quickly.
13. Each of the girls (sing / sings ) well.
14. Each of us ( pull / pulls ) obtrusive weeds
in the garden every day.
15. Everyone waiting for the bus in the rain
( was / were ) completely drenched.
16. One of the advantages of learning a foreign
language ( is / are ) the ability to read the
literature of that language.
(2)
12. Nobody ( knows / know ) why the
neighbors moved out so quickly.
13. Each of the girls (sing / sings ) well.
14. Each of us ( pull / pulls ) obtrusive weeds
in the garden every day.
15. Everyone waiting for the bus in the rain
( was / were ) completely drenched.
16. One of the advantages of learning a foreign
language ( is / are ) the ability to read the
literature of that language.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
(2)
Everybody ( is / are ) quite likely to have
some trouble with accents, too.
Either of my grandparents ( drive / drives )
the car.
Anyone who has a ticket ( is / are ) eligible
to win a prize.
Neither of the plays ( was / were ) very
interesting.
Someone in the next room ( has / have )
broken the mirror in the hall.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
(2)
Everybody ( is / are ) quite likely to have
some trouble with accents, too.
Either of my grandparents ( drive / drives )
the car.
Anyone who has a ticket ( is / are ) eligible
to win a prize.
Neither of the plays ( was / were ) very
interesting.
Someone in the next room ( has / have )
broken the mirror in the hall.
Plural Subjects
(2)
Plural subjects agree with plural verbs. The
following plural indefinite pronouns can
function as subjects of sentences. They
require plural verbs:
both
few
many
several
Examples:
a. Both [of the maples] [in our front yard]
(turn / turns) red in the fall.
b. Many [of the group] (prefer / prefers)
reading to partying.
Plural Subjects
(2)
Plural subjects agree with plural verbs. The
following plural indefinite pronouns can
function as subjects of sentences. They
require plural verbs:
both
few
many
several
Examples:
a. Both [of the maples] [in our front yard]
(turn / turns) red in the fall.
b. Many [of the group] (prefer / prefers)
reading to partying.
Exercise B ~ Circle the form of the verb in
parentheses that agrees with the subject.
(2)
1. Several of the novels written by this author
( is / are ) interesting to young people.
2. Many ( find / finds ) Spanish a useful
language to know.
3. Many of my classmates ( like / likes ) to read
Greek myths.
4. Several ( prefer / prefers ) the legends of
Hercules, the great hero.
5. A few of the students ( stages / stage ) a myth
every year.
Exercise B ~ Circle the form of the verb in
parentheses that agrees with the subject.
(2)
1. Several of the novels written by this author
( is / are ) interesting to young people.
2. Many ( find / finds ) Spanish a useful
language to know.
3. Many of my classmates ( like / likes ) to read
Greek myths.
4. Several ( prefer / prefers ) the legends of
Hercules, the great hero.
5. A few of the students ( stages / stage ) a myth
every year.
6. Both of the strongest boys in the class
( wants / want ) to be Hercules.
7. Several, however, ( seems / seem ) to prefer
the myths involving the gods and
goddesses.
8. Both of the girls with long hair ( want /
wants ) to cut it.
9. Many of the boys ( are / is ) hoping to play
football this year.
10. Few in our class ( like / likes ) the idea of
impersonating Hades, the god of the
underworld.
6. Both of the strongest boys in the class
( wants / want ) to be Hercules.
7. Several, however, ( seems / seem ) to prefer
the myths involving the gods and
goddesses.
8. Both of the girls with long hair ( want /
wants ) to cut it.
9. Many of the boys ( are / is ) hoping to play
football this year.
10. Few in our class ( like / likes ) the idea of
impersonating Hades, the god of the
underworld.
11. Many ( think / thinks ) that living on Mount
Olympus would be high adventure.
12. In the storage closet ( is / are ) the
decorations for the holiday.
13. Several of the volunteers who have extra
time ( have / has ) offered to create sets.
14. Both of my pen pals ( write / writes ) to me
regularly.
15. Many in our group ( is / are ) entering the
lucrative contest.
11. Many ( think / thinks ) that living on Mount
Olympus would be high adventure.
12. In the storage closet ( is / are ) the
decorations for the holiday.
13. Several of the volunteers who have extra
time ( have / has ) offered to create sets.
14. Both of my pen pals ( write / writes ) to me
regularly.
15. Many in our group ( is / are ) entering the
lucrative contest.
Singular or Plural Subjects
The following pronouns may be either
singular or plural:
all
any
most
none
(2)
some
Note: This is an exception to the first rule
you learned about intervening phrases or
clauses because the number of the pronoun
must be determined by the phrase/clause
following it.
Singular or Plural Subjects
The following pronouns may be either
singular or plural:
all
any
most none
some
(2)
Note: This is an exception to the first rule you learned
about intervening phrases or clauses because the number
of the pronoun must be determined by the phrase/clause
following it.
Examples:
a. Most of the day (is / are) over.
b. Most of the children (was / were) crying.
Singular or Plural Subjects
The following pronouns may be either
singular or plural:
all
any
most none
some
(2)
Note: This is an exception to the first rule you learned
about intervening phrases or clauses because the number
of the pronoun must be determined by the phrase/clause
following it.
Examples:
a. Most of the day (is / are) over.
b. Most of the children (was / were) crying.
Exercise C ~ Circle the form of the verb in
parentheses that agrees with its subject.
1. Some of the restaurants featured in our
itinerary ( offers / offer ) children’s menus.
2. All of her coworkers ( has / have ) had the
same work schedule.
3. ( Is / Are ) any of the pie left on the plate?
4. Most of the applicants on the list ( qualify /
qualifies ) for the job.
5. None of the flights seem to (arrive /arrives )
on time.
Exercise C ~ Circle the form of the verb in
parentheses that agrees with its subject.
1. Some of the restaurants featured in our
itinerary ( offers / offer ) children’s menus.
2. All of her coworkers ( has / have ) had the
same work schedule.
3. ( Is / Are ) any of the pie left on the plate?
4. Most of the applicants on the list ( qualify /
qualifies ) for the job.
5. None of the flights seem to (arrive /arrives )
on time.
6. All of the band members ( want / wants ) to
record a hit song.
7. ( Is / Are ) any of the bread stale?
8. Most of the computerized systems in my
new job ( is / are ) fun to use.
9. Most of that song, sung repeatedly by many
artists, ( is / are ) repetitious.
10. Some of the athletes ( like / likes ) to
compete against other schools.
6. All of the band members ( want / wants ) to
record a hit song.
7. ( Is / Are ) any of the bread stale?
8. Most of the computerized systems in my
new job ( is / are ) fun to use.
9. Most of that song, sung repeatedly by many
artists, ( is / are ) repetitious.
10. Some of the athletes ( like / likes ) to
compete against other schools.
11. All of the airlines ( offer / offers ) a hot
dinner on their evening flights.
12. All of the jurors ( agree / agrees ) that the
defendant is innocent.
13. Some of the theatre students (work/ works )
backstage.
14. Most of the problem ( stems / stem ) from a
lack of resources on the land.
15. Some of the money ( were / was ) used to
erect a hospital for children.
11. All of the airlines ( offer / offers ) a hot
dinner on their evening flights.
12. All of the jurors ( agree / agrees ) that the
defendant is innocent.
13. Some of the theatre students (work/ works )
backstage.
14. Most of the problem ( stems / stem ) from a
lack of resources on the land.
15. Some of the money ( were / was ) used to
erect a hospital for children.
MIXED PRACTICE
1. Everyone in my neighborhood (plan /
plans) to join the block association.
2. Both of the coaches (work / works) with us
every afternoon after school.
3. Neither of those roads (lead / leads) to our
favorite campsite.
4. No one, having great respect for the
professor, (want / wants) to contradict him.
5. Some of the baseball cards I have been
collecting (is / are ) valuable.
MIXED PRACTICE
1. Everyone in my neighborhood (plan /
plans) to join the block association.
2. Both of the coaches (work / works) with us
every afternoon after school.
3. Neither of those roads (lead / leads) to our
favorite campsite.
4. No one, having great respect for the
professor, (want / wants) to contradict him.
5. Some of the baseball cards I have been
collecting (is / are ) valuable.
6. Several of the experts (doubt / doubts) the
wisdom of taking huge doses of vitamins.
7. None of the dogs (have / has) learned new
tricks.
8. Most of the windows in the old house (is /
are) broken.
9. Each of the managers participating in the
program (hire / hires) students in the
summer.
10. Somebody who plays the piano (write /
writes) the music for the recital as well.
6. Several of the experts (doubt / doubts) the
wisdom of taking huge doses of vitamins.
7. None of the dogs (have / has) learned new
tricks.
8. Most of the windows in the old house (is /
are) broken.
9. Each of the managers participating in the
program (hire / hires) students in the
summer.
10. Somebody who plays the piano (write /
writes) the music for the recital as well.
Subject/Verb Agreement
Compound
(3)
subjects may cause a problem.
Most subjects joined by and are plural and
take plural verbs. (“And” usually means
PLUS. + = PLURAL.)
HOWEVER, please note: When a compound
subject is considered as a unit, not as two
distinct things, it takes a
singular
verb.
Compound Subjects
(3)
Examples:
•
Kaitlyn and Karl are studying vocabulary
words.
•
Peanut butter and jelly is my favorite
lunch.
•
The president of our class and leader of
the committee is helping with the planning.
(3)
Practice: Identify the subjects and the verbs
that agree with them.
1. A truck and a sedan (were/was) in the ditch.
2. Macaroni and cheese (are/is) the cafeteria
special today.
3. English and science (requires/require)
hours of study.
(3)
Practice: Identify the subjects and the verbs
that agree with them.
1. A truck and a sedan (were/was) in the ditch.
2. Macaroni and cheese (are/is) the cafeteria
special today.
3. English and science (requires/require)
hours of study.
(3)
When compound subjects are joined by or or
nor, the verb agrees with the nearer subject.
Example:
Neither my sister nor my brothers rake the
leaves without protesting.
Either gymnastics or drama is my favorite
extra curricular activity.
Practice:
(3)
1. Either Lucille or Maddie (has/have) a dress
like that.
2. Neither Joe nor his friends (want/wants) the
job.
3. (Does/ Do) any of the flashlights or the
lantern need a new battery?
4. (Is/ Are) the lantern or the flashlights in a
place where we can find them?
5. Either the judge or the lawyers (are/is)
wrong.
Practice:
(3)
1. Either Lucille or Maddie (has/have) a dress
like that.
2. Neither Joe nor his friends (want/wants) the
job.
3. (Does/ Do) any of the flashlights or the
lantern need a new battery?
4. (Is/ Are) the lantern or the flashlights in a
place where we can find them?
5. Either the judge or the lawyers (are/is)
wrong.
Practice:
(3)
6. Neither the refrigerator nor the stove
(have/has) been installed.
7. Her cat and his dogs (is/are) always
fighting.
8. Either my horse or hers always (wins/win).
9. Either my mom or the neighbors always
(hosts/host) the spring fling in our
development.
10. Sunflower seeds or popcorn (makes/make)
a delicious snack.
Practice:
(3)
6. Neither the refrigerator nor the stove
(have/has) been installed.
7. Her cat and his dogs (is/are) always
fighting.
8. Either my horse or hers always (wins/win).
9. Either my mom or the neighbors always
(hosts/host) the spring fling in our
development.
10. Sunflower seeds or popcorn (makes/make)
a delicious snack.
--------------
Mixed Practice ------------- (3)
1. Amber and her brother (likes / like) to
paint.
2. (Is / Are) macaroni and cheese on today’s
lunch menu?
3. Either a ticket or a season pass (allows /
allow) us to enter the museum.
4. A robin and her babies (lives / live) in a
nearby tree.
5. Neither fruits nor vegetables (was / were)
on the table when we arrived.
--------------
Mixed Practice ------------- (3)
1. Amber and her brother (likes / like) to
paint.
2. (Is / Are) macaroni and cheese on today’s
lunch menu?
3. Either a ticket or a season pass (allows /
allow) us to enter the museum.
4. A robin and her babies (lives / live) in a
nearby tree.
5. Neither fruits nor vegetables (was / were)
on the table when we arrived.
6. The eminent doctor or the physician’s
assistant (is / are) always available to answer
your questions.
7. Peanut butter and jelly (is / are) a favorite
sandwich for many children.
8. Both children and adults (enjoys / enjoy) the
rides at Hershey Park.
9. Either the mailman or the construction
workers (is / are) causing the dog to bark like
crazy!
10. Because of environmental concerns, many
cities and towns no longer (incinerates /
incinerate) their garbage.
6. The eminent doctor or the physician’s
assistant (is / are) always available to answer
your questions.
7. Peanut butter and jelly (is / are) a favorite
sandwich for many children.
8. Both children and adults (enjoys / enjoy) the
rides at Hershey Park.
9. Either the mailman or the construction
workers (is / are) causing the dog to bark like
crazy!
10. Because of environmental concerns, many
cities and towns no longer (incinerates /
incinerate) their garbage.
11. Neither a bouquet of flowers nor a box of
chocolates (makes / make) a suitable gift
for this occasion.
12. Rice and beans, my sister’s favorite dish,
(reminds / remind) her of our native Puerto
Rico.
13. Either Franco or his teammates (calls / call)
the plays.
14. Do you know if Wesley or Jacob (is / are)
going to lead the parade on Saturday?
15. Joann and her husband (needs / need) a ride
home from the airport.
11. Neither a bouquet of flowers nor a box of
chocolates (makes / make) a suitable gift
for this occasion.
12. Rice and beans, my sister’s favorite dish,
(reminds / remind) her of our native Puerto
Rico.
13. Either Franco or his teammates (calls / call)
the plays.
14. Do you know if Wesley or Jacob (is / are)
going to lead the parade on Saturday?
15. Joann and her husband (needs / need) a ride
home from the airport.
What do you remember?
List 3 to 5 things you remember about
subject/verb agreement OTHER THAN verbs
agreeing with compound subjects:
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________
Subject/Verb Agreement
(4)
Collective
nouns used as subjects
may be either singular or plural.
The noun is singular when it refers to the group
as a whole unit in itself.
The noun is plural when it refers to the
individuals in the group acting independently
or among themselves.
Subject/Verb Agreement
(4)
Examples:
The jury (was / were) presenting the verdict to
the judge.
The jury (was / were) discussing the case in the
jury room.
Subject/Verb Agreement
(4)
Examples:
The jury (was / were) presenting the verdict to
the judge.
The jury (was / were) discussing the case in the
jury room.
Practice: Explain why each of these sentences
is correct.
1a. The crowd were fighting for their lives.
1b. The crowd was a quiet one.
2a. The team were talking over some new
plays.
2b. The team was the best in the country.
Some nouns that end in -s look plural but are
actually singular.
Examples:
• Measles is a common ailment.
• World economics has a direct bearing on
world peace.
• Physics requires a good imagination.
• Pediatrics is a branch of medicine dealing
with infants and children.
Titles of works of art, literature, and music
are singular even if they end in –s.
Examples:
• The Outsiders is a popular young adult
novel.
• Great Expectations is a novel you will
read in ninth grade.
• A Tale of Two Cities is being shown in
English today.
Words and phrases that express weights,
measures, numbers, amounts of money, and
lengths of time are often treated as singular.
Examples:
• Three pounds is the approximate weight of
an adult human’s brain.
• Five hours was a long time to wait for lunch.
• Fifteen dollars is too much to spend on a
movie ticket!
• Three teaspoons of sugar is too much for me.
Subject/Verb Agreement
(5)
Don’t
and
doesn’t must agree
with their subjects. Use don’t with plural
subjects and with the pronouns I and you.
Use doesn’t with all other subjects.
Examples:
• I don’t remember the score.
• Ironically, the chief of the firefighters
doesn’t like hot weather.
• You don’t mean to say that he doesn’t
deserve the award, do you?
Subject/Verb Agreement
(5)
A verb agrees with its subject and not with
its
predicate nominative .
Examples:
• The best time to visit (is / are) weekday
mornings.
• Weekday mornings (is / are) the best time to
visit.
Subject/Verb Agreement
(5)
A verb agrees with its subject and not with
its
predicate nominative .
Examples:
• The best time to visit (is / are) weekday
mornings.
• Weekday mornings (is / are) the best time to
visit.
Subject/Verb Agreement
Practice:
(5)
1. The best gift (was/were) the clothes that
you sent us.
2. The clothes that you sent us (was/were) the
best gift.
3. The biggest problem in gardening (is/are)
the weeds.
4. Weeds (is/are) the biggest problem in
gardening.
Subject/Verb Agreement
Practice:
(5)
1. The best gift (was/were) the clothes that
you sent us.
2. The clothes that you sent us (was/were) the
best gift.
3. The biggest problem in gardening (is/are)
the weeds.
4. Weeds (is/are) the biggest problem in
gardening.
Subject/Verb Agreement
(5)
When the subject follows the verb as in
sentences beginning with there and here
and in questions, find the subject and make
sure the verb agrees with it.
Examples:
• Here is my seat.
• There are exciting rides at the fair.
Subject/Verb Agreement
(5)
Practice: Which ones are correct? Why?
↓
1. There’s more cookies in the cookie jar.
2. There are fourteen thousand people in my
town.
3. Here’s my umbrella.
4. Where are my boots?
5. Here are the CDs I borrowed.
6. There’s no easy answer to that question.
Which sentences are correct?
•
Neither of the plays were interesting.
•
Each of the houses was brown.
•
One of my brothers plants tomatoes every
year.
•
Either of my grandparents cultivate the
flower garden every year.
Which sentences are correct?
•
Neither of the plays were interesting.
•
Each of the houses was brown.
•
One of my brothers plants tomatoes every
year.
•
Either of my grandparents cultivate the
flower garden every year.
Determine if each of the sentences
is correct. Explain how you
arrived at each answer.
a. Some of the nickels was stolen.
b. Some of the money was stolen.
c. Has any of the paint been delivered?
d. All of the bicycles have been rented.
Determine if each of the sentences
is correct. Explain how you
arrived at each answer.
a. Some of the nickels was stolen.
b. Some of the money was stolen.
c. Has any of the paint been delivered?
d. All of the bicycles have been rented.
How does ‘neither’ work?
1. Neither of the bicycles (is, are) working.
2. Neither bicycle (is, are) working.
3. Neither the bicycle nor the unicycle (is, are)
working.
More Practice
• I (don’t/doesn’t) remember the score.
• World economics (has/have) a direct
bearing on world peace.
Which one is correct? Why?
• There’s more cookies in the cookie jar.
• There are fourteen thousand people in
my town.
More Practice
• I (don’t/doesn’t) remember the score.
• World economics (has/have) a direct
bearing on world peace.
Which one is correct? Why?
• There’s more cookies in the cookie jar.
• There are fourteen thousand people in
my town.
7-ish Things Not to Forget:
7-ish Things Not to Forget:
1. In grammatical number, “singular” denotes one
only.
2. In grammatical number, “plural” denotes more
than one.
3. Subjects and verbs need to AGREE in number;
that is, they must have the SAME number.
4. Singular verbs end in –s.
5. The intervening phrases and clauses that crop up
between a subject and a verb should NOT
influence the number of the subject…except
when they do.
7-ish Things Not to Forget:
6. It is possible for a plural verb to end in –s if its
infinitive ends in –s (such as “pass).
7. Some indefinite pronouns used as subjects are
always singular, but don’t sound correct when
used that way: either, neither, and each are the
most commonly misused singular subjects.
8. Some indefinite pronouns do not have number in
and of themselves but must borrow their number
from the context of the sentence: some, none,
any, all, and most.
7-ish Things Not to Forget:
9. The words either and neither could function as 3
distinct things: When the word is the subject, it is
a pronoun; when it precedes a noun or another
pronoun, it is an adjective. In both cases, if the
adjective modifies the subject, the verb will be
singular because either modifies something
singular. The last function is that of correlative
conjunction.
10.Compound subjects joined by and are usually
plural. The exception occurs when the item refers
to one thing or person.
7-ish Things Not to Forget:
11.Compound subjects joined by or or nor could be
either singular or plural. Number is assigned by
the subject closer to the verb.
12.BE CAREFUL TO SELECT THE
APPROPRIATE SUBJECT WHEN SENTENCE
ORDER IS INVERTED! If the sentence starts
with there, here, where, or why, be careful to
determine the correct subject. None of those are
subjects!
13.Some things are singular even though they look
plural (gymnastics, economics)
7-ish Things Not to Forget:
13. Don’t = Do not = plural. Use this with plural
subjects and with the pronouns I and you.
Doesn’t = Does not = singular.
14. Quantities and measures are singular.
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