2 Agreement of Subject and Verb A verb should agree in number with its subject. Singular subjects take singular verbs, and plural subjects take plural verbs.In a verb phrase, the first helping verb agrees in number with the subjectA boy in my class has been delivering newspapers.A gerund phrase or infinitive phrase used as a complete subject takes a singular verbWorking with you has been a privilege.
3 Agreement of Subject and Verb The number of a subject usually is not determined by a word in a phrase or clause following the subjectSingular – A book of poems is on the shelf.Plural – His skills, together with his humor, have enabled him to become successful.A negative construction following the subject does not change the number of the subjectCarl, not John and I, is doing the artwork.
4 Indefinite PronounsIndefinite pronouns- refer to a person, place, thing or idea that may not be specifically named.The following indefinite pronouns are singular: anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, somebody, someone, and something.Neither of the animals has been fed this morning.
5 Indefinite pronounsThe following indefinite pronouns are plural: both, few, many, and severalA few in the crowd were rowdy.The following indefinite pronouns may be either singular or plural, depending on how they are used: all, any, more, most, none, and someSingular – Most of the job was finished. (refers to singular noun job)Plural – Most of the jobs were finished. (refers to plural noun job)In these examples, the object of the prepositional phrase following the indefinite pronoun gives a clue to the number of the pronoun.
6 Indefinite pronounsIn a sentence that does not include a phrase after a subject, you must find the number of the noun to which the pronoun refers; make sure the verb has the same number as the antecedentMost was interesting. (Most may be referring to a portion of a book, movie, etc. You need to use context to figure this out.Most were interesting. (Again, most may be referring to a number of books, things, etc.)
7 Compound SubjectsA compound subject consists of two or more subjects that are joined by a conjunction and that have the same verbSubjects joined by and generally take a plural verbHer brother, her uncle, and her cousin are teachers.
8 Compound subjectsSubjects joined by and that name only one person, thing, etc., take singular verbs. Singular compound nouns containing and also take singular verbs.The club’s secretary and treasurer was Edwardo. (one person)Country and western has become our favorite kind of music.
9 Compound subjectsSingular subjects joined by or or nor take a singular verb; plural subjects joined by or or nor take a plural verbMark or Donna knows the address.Neither our phone nor our doorbell was working.When a singular subject and a plural subject are joined by or or nor, the verb agrees with the subject nearer the verbNeither the potatoes nor the roast is done.
10 Special problems in subject verb agreement – Collective nouns Collective nouns may be either singular or plural, depending on their meaning in a sentence.Collective nouns – noun whose singular form names a group.Examples – army, committee, team, troop (pg. 120)
11 Special problems in subject verb agreement – Collective nouns A collective noun is singular when it refers to the group as a unit. It is plural when it refers to the individual members or parts of the group.Singular – The class has met its teacher. (the class as a unit)Plural – The class were disagreeing with one another. (the class as individuals)Singular – The team is on the field.Plural – The team are working together.
12 Special s/v agreement problems A verb agrees with its subject but not necessarily with a predicate nominative.The main ingredient in salsa is tomatoes.When the subject follows the verb, find the subject and make sure the verb agrees with it.In sentences begin with here or there and in questions, the subject generally follows the verb.Here is a set of keys.Do they know the price?
13 Special s/v agreement problems A contraction such as here’s or how’s includes the singular verb is or has. Use a contraction like this only when a singular subject follows it.Incorrect – There’s several photos of the memorial in the magazine.Correct – There are several photos of the memorial in the magazine.
14 Special s/v agreement problems An expression of an amount (a measurement, percentage, or fraction) may be singular or plural, depending on how it is used. PgAmount – singular when thought of as a unit, plural when thought of as separate partsFraction/percentage – singular when a single word, plural when a plural wordMeasurement – generally singular
15 Special s/v agreement problems When the relative pronoun that, which, or who is the subject of an adjective clause, the verb in the clause agrees with the word to which the pronoun refersExample – The Merrymount Dancers is a group of ballet dancers that perform together. (that refers to the plural noun dancers and uses plural verb perform)A subject preceded by every or many a(an) takes a singular verb.Every parent is looking on with pride.
16 Special s/v agreement problems The contractions don’t and doesn’t should agree with their subjectsUse don’t with the subjects you and I and all plural subjectsUse doesn’t with all singular subjects except I and youSome nouns that are plural in form take singular verbs – list on page Examples include civics, economics, news, physics, genetics
17 Special s/v agreement problems Even when plural in form, the title of a creative work (such as a book, song, etc.) generally takes a singular verb.The Odyssey is my favorite epic poem.Even when in plural form, the name of a country, a city, or an organization takes a singular verbKenosha is my hometown.
18 Agreement of pronoun and antecedent A pronoun should agree in both number and gender with its antecedentUse singular pronouns to refer to singular antecedents; use plural pronouns to refer to plural antecedentsThe mountain climbers believe that they will reach the summit by Friday.Some singular pronouns indicate gender-Masculine- he, him, his, himself. Feminine – she, her, hers, herself. Neutral – it, its, itself
19 Indefinite pronounsIndefinite pronouns agree with their antecedents according to the following rules:1. Anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, somebody, someone and something are singularWhen you do not know the gender of the antecedent, use both the masculine and feminine pronouns, connected by or. ***2. Few, both, many, and several are plural3. All, any, more, most, none and some may be singular or plural, depending on how they are usedMost of these coins are rare, but I don’t know what they are worth. (they is used because most refers to the plural noun coins)
20 Compound AntecedentsPronouns agree with compound antecedents according to the following rules1. Use a plural pronoun to refer to two or more antecedents joined by andThe guide and the ranger wrapped their rain ponchos in their saddle rolls.2. Use a singular to refer to two or more singular antecedents joined by or or norNeither Heidi nor Beth took her umbrella with her.
21 Special Problems in Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement A collective noun is singular when the noun refers to the group as a unit and plural when the noun refers to the individual members or parts of the groupThe orchestra were tuning their instruments when the conductor arrived. (their – members were tuning separate instruments)An expression of an amount (a measurement, percent or fraction) may take a singular or plural pronoun, depending on how it is usedAmount – singular when a unit, plural when separate partsFraction or percentage – singular when it refers to a singular word, plural when refers to a plural wordMeasurement - singular
22 Special Problems in Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement Some nouns that are plural in form take singular pronounsList pg. 135 – civics, electronics, news, etc. take singular pronouns – look at how they are usedSome nouns plural in form but refer to single items take plural pronouns – binoculars, eyeglasses, shorts, etc.Even when plural in form, the title of a creative work or the name of a country, city, etc, take a singular pronoun
23 Special Problems in Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement The number of a relative pronoun (that, which or who) is determined by the number of its antecedentSingular – Jessica, who always takes pride in her work, has been appointed editor.Plural – All who want to volunteer their time should sign up.
24 Easy TutorialWants1. Billy _______________ to buy a new skateboard. (want, wants) 2. Those two boys _______________ to buy new skateboards. (want, wants) 3. Grandpa _______________ a hamburger for dinner. (cook, cooks) 4. Grandma and Grandpa _______________ dinner together. (cook, cooks) 5. The dogs _______________ when the mail carrier comes. (growl, growls)WantCooksCookGrowl
25 Easy TutorialGrowls6. The brown dog _______________ when someone comes in. (growl, growls)7. All three computers ______________ when you turn them on. (beep, beeps)8. That computer _______________ when you turn it on. (beep, beeps)9. The basketball _______________ across the court. (roll, rolls)10. Three tennis balls _______________ across the court. (roll, rolls)BeepBeepsRollsRoll
26 Exercise 1 – Easy1. A black cat (bring, brings) bad luck, according to an old superstition. 2. Young children often (protest, protests) when bedtime (roll, rolls) around. 3. My thoughts often (become, becomes) confused when I sit down to write an essay. 4. When it is hot and humid, my clothes (stick, sticks) to me. 5. A person (need, needs) to set goals if he or she wants to succeed.
27 Exercise 1 – Easy6. The damages (were, was) not serious, but the cost of repairs was over a thousand dollars. 7. My head (feel, feels) as if it is about to burst. 8. Joseph (have, has) two sisters, one brother, and several pets. 9. When a tree (fall, falls) in a forest and no one is present, does it make a sound? 10. The food containers (is, are) stacked in the lower cabinet. 11. Mothers (like, likes) to see their children grow into independent adults. 12. My brother (work, works) at the Baptist Hospital as a physical therapist.
28 Exercise 1 – Easy13. The little girl (have, has) a beautiful smile, even though her two front teeth (are, is) missing. 14. A kitten (open, opens) its eyes when it is about ten days old. 15. Some boys (pitch, pitches) with one hand and (bat, bats) with another.
29 Exercise 2 – EasyExercise Two: In each sentence below, circle the verb that agrees with its subject, underline the subject. 1. Marvin’s excuses for not having completed his research paper (bore, bores) me. 2. Speeding in restricted zones, especially those near schools, (endanger, endangers) lives. 3. One computer for two or three students (seem, seems) inadequate. 4. The popularity of violent movies (reflect, reflects) the values of our society. 5. Honeydews, one of the favorite melons of consumers, (taste, tastes) clean and sweet.
30 Exercise 2 – Easy6. Coaches who are disciplined and who demand discipline from their players usually (have, has) winning teams. 7. The annual sales of video games in the United States probably (exceed, exceeds) abillion dollars. 8. Small amounts of tar and nicotine (damage, damages) the health of smokers. 9. Fiberglass, often used as an insulating material in homes, (cause, causes) allergic reactions in some people. 10. The women riding in the back seat of the car (was, were) not injured in the accident. 11. Animals which sleep in the day and are active at night (have, has) good night vision. 12. The students waiting in line for tickets to the concert (expect, expects) to get good seats.
31 Subject Verb Agreement Begin Medium TutorialEasy Tutorial Completed!
32 Exercise 2 – MediumDelayed Subjects :Often, the subject of a sentence will come after the verb. A simple way to identify the subject is as follows:1. First identify the verb2. Then ask the question "Who or what...?"These steps may help you select the subject of most sentences.Other points to remember:The subject is never within a prepositional phrase.To find the subject of a question, turn the question into a statement.The words there and here are never the subjects.
33 Exercise 2 – MediumDelayed Subjects :Instructions: underline the subject once and the verb twice. Check to see if the subject and verb agree. If not, change the verb to agree with the subject. 1. There are many unverified legends about the life of Benjamin Franklin. 2. In the science building hangs the new projector screens. 3. There is almost seven million volumes in the Library of Congress. 4. How much is these bananas?hangareare
34 Exercise 2 – MediumDelayed Subjects :5. Where are Mary's brothers? 6. There is the socks you bought for soccer practice. 7. There was thousands of people at the parade. 8. In the small pond swims four large fish. 9. There's no one left in the room. 10. In later life comes great wisdom.arewereswim
35 Exercise 2 – MediumDelayed Subjects :11. There is a ninety percent chance of rain in today's forecast. 12. There’s three finalists in the speech competition. 13. From the horizon comes an eerie, shimmering light. 14. Near the barn stands two old oak trees. 15. When is Christmas holidays scheduled on the school calendar?.there arestandare
36 Exercise 2 – MediumDelayed Subjects :5. Where are Mary's brothers? 6. There is the socks you bought for soccer practice. 7. There was thousands of people at the parade. 8. In the small pond swims four large fish. 9. There's no one left in the room. 10. In later life comes great wisdom.arewereswim
37 Subject Verb Agreement Begin Hard TutorialEasy Tutorial Completed!Medium Tutorial Completed!
38 Exercise 2 – MediumCompound SubjectsWhen two or more subjects are joined by a conjunction, the result is a compound subject.A compound subject joined by the conjunction and is usually plural and therefore requires a verb that does not end in s.Examples:The house and the barn belong to Sam's family.A slice of toast and a glass of juice are on the table.
39 Exercise 2 – MediumCompound SubjectsNote: When two or more subjects are joined by the conjunction or or nor, the verb agrees with the subject that is closer to it (usually the second subject).Examples:Fudge or cookies are a good choice for dessert.Neither Tammy nor her sister likes to travel.Either the clerk or the secretary _____ (has/have) the keys to the rover.has
40 Exercise 3 – HardCompound Subjects :1. Ben and Pete (want, wants) to buy a new computer. 2. The color and style (is, are) important to most teenagers. 3. The price or warranty (is, are) not as important as other factors. 4. Neither a new television nor stereo (interest, interests) Ben and Pete. 5. A large monitor and quality sound (impress, impresses) them. 6. The manager and sales clerk (try, tries) to convince them to buy an expensive model.
41 Exercise 3 – HardCompound Subjects :7. Neither Ben nor Pete (want, wants) to make a rush decision about the computer. 8. Video editing and computer graphics (provide, provides) new possibilities for the user. 9. Most people know when a computer system or program (work, works) properly, and they can usually do minor repairs themselves. 10. A computer course and a reference guide (is, are) necessary for serious users. 11. A new keyboard or mouse (attract, attracts) those interested in upgrading their systems.
42 Exercise 3 – HardCompound Subjects :13. Neither the directions on the package nor the brochure (explain, explains) how to play the game. 14. Both the hard drive and the software installed on our old computer (is, are) damaged.
43 Exercise 2 – HardCompound exceptionsExceptions: Though subjects joined by and are usually considered plural, there are two exceptions to this rule. Exception # 1: When the two subjects are really naming one person or thing, the subject is singular and the verb should end in s. Macaroni and cheese is my favorite food. The librarian and reading teacher is Mrs. Jones.
44 Exercise 2 – hardCompound SubjectsException Two: When the word every precedes a compound subject, it makes that subject singular, and the verb should end in s. Every dog and cat has been vaccinated.
45 Exercise 3 – HardCompound Subjects :1. (Does, Do) every boy and girl in kindergarten visit the museum? 2. Clowns and fools, as well as heroes, (appear, appears) in many of Shakespeare's plays. 3. Either the plaintiff or the defendant (has, have) changed his mind about the suit. 4. Neither the President nor his family members (was, were) safe. 5. Fish and chips (is, are) a specialty of local restaurants.
46 Exercise 3 – HardCompound Subjects :6. Every dog and cat (is, are) required to wear a tag certifying that it has been vaccinated. 7. The cook and housekeeper (is, are) paid a larger salary than the gardener because of the extra requirements of her job. 8. Rain, snow, or fog (is, are) hazardous to beginning drivers. 9. (Do, Does) dogs and monkeys have the ability to think? 10. Both Jane and her brother (like, likes) riding horses.
48 QuizQuizSome of the sentences in the following passage have errors in subject-verb agreement. Draw a line through each faulty verb and write the correct form above it.One of the symbols of our nation consist of sticks tied in a bundle.These sticks represent the individual states, and the bundle represent the United States.The symbol, like our flag, makes a statement. The symbol means "United we stand; divided we fall."Single SubjectconsistsrepresentsSingle Subject
49 QuizQuizCompoundSubjectsThe symbol and the statement comes from an old story, one of the fables told by an ancient Greek storyteller named Aesop. In this story, a man have several sons who are always quarreling with one another. The father, with frequent admonitions, try to get the sons to stop their arguing and fighting. But nothing works.ComeSingle SubjecthasSingle Subjecttries
50 QuizQuizSingle SubjectFinally, the father decide to give his sons a practical lesson in the effects of disunity. He ask them to bring him a bundle of sticks. Handing the bundle to each of his sons, he tells them to break it in two shorter pieces. Each of the sons try to break the bundle, but none of them are able to do so.decidesSingle SubjectasksSingle SubjectSingular Subjecttries
51 QuizQuizplural SubjectThere is too much strength when the sticks has been tied together.Next the father unties the bundle and hand a single stick to each of his sons and ask each son to break his stick.Of course, all of the sons is able to break the sticks easily.haveSingle SubjecthandsPlural Subjectare
52 QuizQuizSingle SubjectThe father then tell his sons, "You are like the sticks. If you are united like the bundle of sticks, you are strong enough to withstand any attacks from enemies. But if there is quarreling and fighting among you, your enemies will be able to defeat you easily."tellsSingle SubjectSingle SubjectPlural Subject
53 Quiz The motto of the United States mean the same thing. Single SubjectThe motto of the United States mean the same thing.The individual states become strong when they are united, but if they try to stand alone, they can be picked off one by one.meansplural Subject