subject/verb agreement

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Subject/Verb Agreement. Singular subjects take singular verbs. Singular verbs have an “s” on the end of them. Think about the word “singular”—it has an –s in it, so the verb that goes with it ends in an –s. Plural subjects take plural verbs Plural verbs are “s”-less on the end of them. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Subject/Verb Agreement

  • Singular subjects take singular verbs.Singular verbs have an s on the end of them.Think about the word singularit has an s in it, so the verb that goes with it ends in an s. Plural subjects take plural verbsPlural verbs are s-less on the end of them.Plural has no s in it, so keep away from s on the verb.

  • There are certain words that will ALWAYS be considered singular subjects

  • Any way you connect these, the verb is singular!AnyEveryNoSome


  • AnyEveryNoSome


  • AnyEveryNoSome


  • AnyEveryNoSome


  • AnyEveryNoSome


  • AnyEveryNoSomeBodyOneThing

  • Some Additional Singular Subjects:EachEitherNeitherOne

  • There are certain words that will ALWAYS be considered plural subjects

  • The Following are ALWAYS PluralBothManyFewSeveral

  • Some subjects can be either singular or pluralAllAnyMoreMostNoneSome

  • How do you know which is which?Look at the sentence to see what it refers to.Some of the test (is/are) hard.Some of the questions (is/are) hard.Even though questions cannot be your subject (because it is in a prepositional phrase), it can help you determine which verb to pick.

  • Some of the test is hard.Some refers to the singular noun test. So, because you are talking about how one particular test is hard, you use a singular verb.Some of the questions are hard.Some refers to the plural noun questions. So, because you are talking about how multiple questions are hard, you use a plural verb (-s less)

  • Compound subjectsA compound subject consists of two or more subjects that are joined by a conjunction (FANBOYS) and have the same verb.

  • andWhen you have two subjects that are joined by and, generally you have a plural verb (-s less).Example:George Lucas and Steven Spielberg make movies.Rhyme, rhythm, and imagery help poets express their feelings.

  • or and norWhen subjects are joined by or or nor they take a singular verb.Plural subjects joined by or or nor take plural verbs.Example:After dinner, either Anne or Tony loads the dishwasher.Neither dogs nor cats love the rain.

  • What to do when it is a singular and plural subject?When you have a singular subject and a plural subject AND you are trying to connect the two with or or nor, then you use the subject that is closest to the verb to determine whether it is singular or plural.

  • ExamplesNeither the children nor their mother was ready for the trip.Since mother is closest to the verb (and there is only one mother), the verb is singularNeither the mother nor her children were ready for the trip.Since children is closest to the verb (and there are multiple children), the verb is plural.

  • Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement

  • DefinitionAntecedent:The word that the pronoun usually refers to is called an antecedent.

  • What must it do?A pronoun should agree in number and gender with its antecedentA pronoun that refers to one person, place or thing is singularDaniel Defoe wrote his first book at age fifty-nine.The elephant is a long-lived animal. It grows its tusks at maturity.

  • A pronoun that refers to multiple people, places and things are plural.Reliable cars make their owners happy.We walk our dogs daily.

  • Gender of pronouns

  • Often, when the antecedent of a personal pronoun is ANOTHER pronoun, the rest of the sentence will help figure out what the gender is.One of the women designs her own costumes.Her is the pronoun, one is the antecedent, and woman helps us know it is feminine.

  • Remember the diagram for subject verb agreement?

  • BodyOneThing


  • The rule for subject/verb agreement is the same for pronoun antecedent agreement.If one of these pronouns is the antecedent, the pronoun is always singular.

  • Either of the girls can bring her CD player.Neither of the workmen forgot his tool belt.Someone left his or her hat on the field.

  • Both, few, many, and several are always plural.Both of the sisters recited their lines.Few of the animals willingly leave their natural habitat.

  • All, any, more, most, none, and some are singular and plural depending on their meaning.All of the water has melted; it is a puddle on the table. (Singular)All of the streams are full; they are overflowing. (Plural)

  • Two or more antecedents connected by or or nor are singular.Neither Richard nor Bob distinguished himself in the finalsPaula or Janet will present her views on the subject.

  • Use a plural pronoun to refer to two or more antecedents joined by and.Mona and Janet left early because they had a curfew.Mom and dad celebrated their anniversary yesterday.

  • Practice!Ahmad read mystery stories every night.Ahmad's read Ahmad reads Ahmads' read Ahmad reading

  • Which is correct?Standing at the front of the room was my friends. Standing at the front of the room were my friends.

  • The adults in our neighborhood had a meeting to ____ on a sidewalk design. decide decides

  • Anyone can get __ name in the news. None of the checks were cashed;___ finally expired.The chef cut ___ on the thumb while he was peeling carrots.A person should insure ____ valuables.The family has ___ eye on a new house.The code breakers shared ___ secrets

  • My mother and her sister took ___ vacation together.Either Mike or John wears a patch over ___ eye.All are welcome: ___ just need to call for directions to the party.Neither documentaries nor the news is given enough money by ___ network.San Diego and San Jose get ___ names from Spanish.