subject – verb agreement

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  2. 2. RULE #1 A verb agrees with its subject in number. (A singular subject takes a singular verb; a plural subject takes plural verb.)
  3. 3. RULE #2 The number of the subject (singular and plural) is NOT changed by a phrase or a clause that separates the subject from the verb.
  4. 4. RULE #2 EXAMPLES 1. One of the eggs is broken. 2. The ozone layer which has holes absorbs most of the ultraviolet radiation. 3. Radio waves with short wavelength penetrate the atmosphere and are used to communicate with spacecraft.
  5. 5. RULE #3 Some subjects always take a singular verb even though the meaning may seem plural.
  6. 6. These subjects ALWAYS take singular verbs: Each Either Neither One No one Everyone Someone Anyone Nobody Somebody Anybody Everybod y
  7. 7. RULE #3 EXAMPLES 1. Someone in the game was (not were) hurt. 2. Neither of them is (not are) working.
  8. 8. RULE #4 a. The following words may be singular or plural, depending upon their use in a sentence:
  9. 9. All Any More Most None Some These subjects may take SINGULAR OR PLURAL verbs:
  10. 10. RULE #4a EXAMPLES 1. Most of the news is good.(singular) 2. Most of the flowers were yellow. (plural)
  11. 11. RULE #5 The following indefinite pronouns are PLURAL:
  12. 12. Both Few Many Several These subjects take PLURAL verbs ONLY:
  13. 13. RULE #5 EXAMPLES 1. Both are impressive. 2. Many of his pitches blaze past the batter.
  14. 14. RULE #6a Compound subjects joined by and use plural verbs.
  15. 15. RULE #6a EXAMPLES 1. The boys and the girls are here. 2. Bob and George are leaving..
  16. 16. RULE #6b Compound subjects connected by and , and are closely related or refer to the same person or thing use singular verbs.
  17. 17. RULE #6b EXAMPLES 1. Bread and butter is good food. 2. My classmate and bestfriend is coming to dinner.
  18. 18. RULE #6c When or, nor, neither nor, either or connect two subjects, a verb agrees with the nearest subject.
  19. 19. RULE #6c EXAMPLES 1. Neither Bob nor George is leaving. 2. Neither Bob nor his friends are leaving.
  20. 20. RULE #7 There and here are never subjects, the subject is usually found later on in the sentence.
  21. 21. RULE #7 EXAMPLES 1. There are new discoveries every minute of the day. 2. Here is a basket of apples for you.
  22. 22. RULE #8 A collective noun used to denote a UNIT uses a SINGULAR VERB. It takes a PLURAL VERB when it is used to refer to INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF A GROUP.
  23. 23. Following are some common examples: Army Crowd Orchestra Audience Flock Public Class Group Swarm Club Herd Team Committee Jury troop
  24. 24. RULE #8 EXAMPLES 1. The orchestra is playing a hit song. (as one unit singular) 2. The orchestra were asked to give their musical backgrounds. (as separate individuals plural)