GRAMMAR NOTES: ENGLISH I

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GRAMMAR NOTES:
ENGLISH I
SUBJECT-VERB
AGREEMENT RULES
SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
Rule 1:
BASIC RULE:
• A verb must agree with its
____________________ in number and
in person. In other words, if the subject
is __________________ (only one) , the
verb should be singular, and if the
subject is _________________ (more
than one), the verb should be plural.
EXAMPLES:
Incorrect Example:
 The boy are going to the movies.
Correct Example:
 The boy IS going to the movies.
Subject and Verb Rule 2:
Separated by Words

RULE: When words come between the
________________ and the _______________,
a subject/verb agreement error can occur. It is
important to remember that an object of a
_____________________________ is never the
subject of the sentence.
Examples of Rule 2:
Incorrect Example:
The two main goals of my life is to go
to college and get a good job.
Correct Example:
The two main goals of my life are to
go to college and get a good job.
Notes about
Subject-Verb Agreement
Singular = One
Plural = More than one



For the most part (not always though), if the subject is SINGULAR,
then the verb will end with an “S.” If the subject is PLURAL, then
the verb WILL NOT end with an “S.”
Examples:
The cat meows. (singular subject)
 The cats meow. (plural subject)

There are exceptions to this rule. Keep reading to learn more.
RULE 3: PLURAL SUBJECTS
• RULE: If
the sentences has two or
more subjects joined by AND, then
the verb is almost always
_____________________________.
Incorrect: My mother and father is going to the movies.
Correct: My mother and father are going to the movies.
RULE 4:
Subjects Joined by Or or Nor
RULE:
If a subject has two or more parts joined by the words “or” or
“nor,” the verb should agree with the part of the subject that is
_________________________ to the verb.
Incorrect: Neither the president nor the vice president are aware of the
changes in the plan.
Correct: Neither the president nor the vice president is aware of the
changes in the plan.
More Examples of Rule 4:
INCORRECT:
Either my sisters or my mother ENJOY dancing.
In the above sentence, there are two subjects (my sisters and my mother).
However, these two subjects are joined with the conjunction “OR.” This
means that both subjects don’t enjoy dancing. Only one of the subjects
enjoys dancing (my sisters OR my mother). To determine if the verb is
singular or plural, first identify the verb. The verb is ENJOY. Now, look at the
subject that is NEAREST to the verb. “MOTHER” is nearest to the verb. Since
“MOTHER” is singular, then the verb needs to be singular. Therefore,
“ENJOY” should be changed to ‘ENJOYS.”
CORRECT:
Either my sisters or my mother ENJOYS dancing.
NOTE: THIS RULE ONLY APPLIES WHEN YOU HAVE TWO OR MORE
SUBJECTS JOINED WITH “OR” OR “NOR.”
RULE 5:
• The pronouns each, everyone, every one, everybody,
anyone, anybody, someone, and somebody are singular
and require singular verbs. Do not be misled by what
follows the word “of.”
Examples:
• Each of the girls sings well.
• Every one of the cakes is gone.
NOTE:
Everyone is one word when it means everybody.
Every one is two words when the meaning is each one.
RULE 6:
Use a singular verb with sums
of money or periods of time.
Examples:
* Ten dollars is a high price to pay.
* Five years is the maximum sentence for that offense.
RULE 7:
• Sometimes the subject is separated from
the verb by words such as along with, as
well as, besides, or not. Ignore these
expressions when determining whether to
use a singular or plural verb.
Examples:
* The politician, along with the newsmen, is expected shortly.
* Excitement, as well as nervousness, is the cause of her shaking.


A verb must agree with its subject in
_____________________and
PERSON
_____________________________.
NUMBER
When words come between the subject and
the verb, a subject/verb agreement error can
occur. It is important to remember that an
PREPOSITION
object of a ___________________________
is never the subject of the sentence.

The two main goals of my life are to
go to college and get a good job.

In the sentence above, what is the
SUBECT of the sentence?
GOALS

If a subject has two or more parts
connected by the conjunction “and,” the
subject is almost always
PLURAL
_________________________.
If the
parts of the subject refer to the same
person or thing, however, the subject
should be treated as
SINGULAR
_______________________.

If a subject has two or more
parts joined by “or” or “nor,”
the verb should agree with the
part of the subject that is
NEAREST / CLOSEST
_______________________
to the verb.



The computer that I bought last
week (is are) working much
better than my old computer.
Michael Jordan, who is one of the
greatest basketball players of all time,
(own owns) a house in Wilmington, N.C.
The main problem with horror movies (is
are) the excessive violence.

English and history (is are) my two favorite
subjects.

Neither the students nor the teacher (is are)
aware that there will be a fire drill today.

Neither the dog nor the kitten (is are) willing to
eat the leftover meatloaf.

The football team (is are) going to win the
championship game.
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