Grammar Unit 2

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Agreement
Verbs that agree with their Subjects and Pronouns
Singular and Plural
A word that refers to one person or thing is singular in
number.
A word that refers to more than one is plural in
number.
Singular Examples: car, ox, this, either, he, she, it
Plural Examples: cars, oxen, these, both, they
A verb agrees with its subject
in number.
Singular subjects takes a singular verb.
A young woman lives next door.
This bake sale was sponsored by the Pep Club.
Plural subjects takes plural verbs.
Young women live next door.
These bake sales were sponsored by the Pep Club.
Verbs
Singular
Plural
Is
Are
Was
Were
Has
Have
Most verbs ending in a single –s
Most verbs not ending a single -s
Intervening Phrases
The number of the subject is not changed by a phrase
following the subject.
A phrase that comes between a singular subject and its
verb can easily mislead you if it contains a plural word.
Example: The counselor was very helpful.
The counselor for the senior students was very helpful.
In formal writing, singular
subjects followed by these
phrases take singular verbs:
together with
as well as
in addition to
accompanied by
Example:
The singer, as well as the musicians, was pleased with
the recording session.
The singer was pleased NOT musicians were pleased
Practice
1. The movements, in addition to the pressure of molten
rock, (causes, cause) the plates to collide.
2. The pressure of colliding plates (forces, force) the rock to
bend until it breaks.
3. The cause of most earthquakes (is, are) the release of
stress along the fault.
4. The Richter scale, as well as other measurements, (has,
have) been used to record the magnitude of earthquakes.
5. The scientific community, especially seismologists and
geologists, (is, are) studying the effects of earthquakes.
Practice Answers
1. cause
2.forces
3.is
4.has
5.is
Practice Review
1. The movements, in addition to the pressure of molten
rock, (causes, cause) the plates to collide.
2. The pressure of colliding plates (forces, force) the rock to
bend until it breaks.
3. The cause of most earthquakes (is, are) the release of
stress along the fault.
4. The Richter scale, as well as other measurements, (has,
have) been used to record the magnitude of earthquakes.
5. The scientific community, especially seismologists and
geologists, (is, are) studying the effects of earthquakes.
Indefinite Pronouns as
Subjects
Pronouns like: everybody, someone, everything, all and
none, all of which are more or less indefinite in
meaning, present some special usage problems.
Some of them are always singular, some are always
plural, and some others depend on the meaning of the
sentence.
Singular Pronouns
Each, Either, Neither
No one, Every one, Everyone
Someone
Anybody, Somebody, Everybody
EX: Every one of the campers enjoys the summertime.
Plural Pronouns
Several
Few
Both
Many
Pronouns that Depend on
Meaning
Some
Any
None
All
Most
When they refer to a singular word they are singular and
vice versa.
Examples of Pronouns that
Depend on Meaning
Some of the show was hilarious.
Some of the actors were hilarious.
None of the story makes sense.
None of the movies were exciting.
Indefinite Pronoun Practice
(try doing it without notes)
1. Each of the pictures (was, were) in a silver frame.
2. One of my friends (play, plays) the tuba.
3. All of our belongings (is, are) still unpacked.
4. Some of these rare books (has, have) leather covers.
5. None of the people in the theater audience (was,
were) pleased with the film.
Practice Answers
1. was
2. plays
3. are
4. have
5. were
Practice Review
1. Each of the pictures (was, were) in a silver frame.
2. One of my friends (play, plays) the tuba.
3. All of our belongings (is, are) still unpacked.
4. Some of these rare books (has, have) leather covers.
5. None of the people in the theater audience (was,
were) pleased with the film.
Compound Subjects
Subjects joined by the word and take a plural verb.
Singular subjects joined by or or nor take a singular
verb.
When a singular and a plural subject are joined by or
or nor, the verb agrees with the nearer subject.
When subjects are joined by and but act as a unit, they
take a singular verb. (ex: Macaroni and cheese is good.)
Compound Subject Practice
1. Hannah and Harmony (have been, has been) friends for
years.
2. The records and the tapes (were, was) stacked on the
shelf.
3. Bread and butter (comes, come) with every meal.
4. A jacket or a sweater (is, are) warm enough at night.
5. Neither the coach nor the trainer (was, were) sure of the
starting time.
6. Either the singer or the musicians (is, are) off-key.
1. Hannah and Harmony (have been, has been) friends for
years.
2. The records and the tapes (were, was) stacked on the
shelf.
3. Bread and butter (comes, come) with every meal.
4. A jacket or a sweater (is, are) warm enough at night.
5. Neither the coach nor the trainer (was, were) sure of the
starting time.
6. Either the singer or the musicians (is, are) off-key.
Practice Answers
1. have been
2. were
3. comes
4. is
5. was
6. are
Other Problems of S-V
Agreement
When the subject follows the verb, as in questions and in
sentences beginning with here and there, be careful to
determine the subject and make sure that the verb agrees
with it.
EX: There are seven vegetables in the salad.
Collective nouns may be either singular or plural. It
depends on whether the speaker is thinking of the
individual members or the whole group.
EX: The audience were entering the theater. (one at a time)
EX: The audience was one of the best. (as a whole)
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