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 Subject-Verb Agreement

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PostSubject: Subject-Verb Agreement   Sun May 25, 2008 7:50 am

The subject & verb agree in number: both must be singular, or both must be plural. In order to find that your subject & verb agree, you need to be able to identify the subject of your sentence.

Making Subjects & Verbs Agree

1. When the subject of a sentence is composed of two or more nouns or pronouns connected by and, use a plural verb.


2. When two or more singular nouns or pronouns are connected by or or nor, use a singular verb.


3. When a compound subject contains both a singular and a plural noun or pronoun joined by or or nor, the verb should agree with the part of the subject that is nearer to the verb.



4. Doesn't is a contraction of does not and should be used only with a singular subject. Don't is a contraction of do not and should be used only with a plural subject. The exception to this rule appears in the case of the first person & second person pronouns I and you. With these pronouns, the contraction don't should be used.



5. Do not be misled by a phrase that comes between the subject & the verb. The verb agrees with the subject, not with a noun or pronoun in the phrase.






6. The words each, each one, either, neither, everyone, everybody, anybody, nobody, somebody, someone and no one are singular & require a singular verb.




7. Nouns such as civics, mathematics, dollars, measles and news require singular verbs.

Notes:- The word dollars is a special case. When talking about on amount of money, it requires a singular verb, but when referring to the dollars themselves, a plural verb is required.



8. Nouns such as scissors, tweezers, trousers and shears require plural verbs.



9. In sentences beginning with there is or there are, the subject follows the verb. Since there is not the subject, the verb agrees with what follows.



10. Collective nouns are words that imply more than one person but that are considered singular and take a singular verb, such as group, team, committee, class and family. In very few cases, the plural verb is used if the individuals in the group are thought of and specifically referred to.





11. Expressions such as with, including, accompanied by, in addition to or as well do not change the number of the subject is singular, the verb is too.

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