2 Making Verbs Agree in Number with Subjects If you have a singular subject, you need a singular verb. (Remember, a singular verb has an “s” on the end.)If you have a plural subject, you need a plural verb. (Remember, a plural verb does not have an “s” on the end.)
3 Example Singular Subjects and Verbs The dog eats my homework.Sub. = dogVerb = eatsThe quick brown fox jumps over the lazy mole.Sub. = foxVerb = jumps
4 Example Plural Subjects and Verbs The dogs eat my homework.Sub. = dogsVerb = eatThe quick brown foxes jump over the lazy mole.Sub. = foxesVerb = jump
5 Subject Verb Agreement with Compound Subjects First, you look for a key word. What words tell you that you have something compound?ANDORYou do different things based on which word is used.
6 Compound Subjects with “AND” If a subject is made compound with the word “and,” then the verb is ALWAYS PLURAL.For example: The dog and cat eat my homework.Sub. = dog and cat (plural)Verb = eat (plural)
7 Compound Subjects with “OR” If a subject is made compound with the word “or,” you have to look to the word after the “or.” Then you have two choices.1. If the word after the “or” is singular, then the verb is singular.2. If the word after the “or” is plural, then the verb is plural.
8 Example Compound Subjects with “OR” The dog or cats eat my homework.Sub. = dog or cats (“Cats” is plural, so I need a plural verb.)Verb = eatThe dog or cat eats my homework.Sub. = dog or cat (“Cat” is singular, so I need a singular verb.)Verb = eats
9 Help with “OR” to Create Compound Subjects If you are having trouble determining if you should use a singular or plural verb, take the first part of the compound subject away and reread the sentence. Fill in the verb that makes sense.For example: The parakeet, dog, or cats eat my homework. (Take away “parakeet” and “dog”. Make the verb match the last subject “cats.” Cats eat my homework.
10 Making Verbs Agree When There Are Intervening Phrases Make sure you match your verb to your subject, NOT the object of the preposition.For example: The dog with the long claws eats my homework.Sub. = dog (NOT claws)Verb = eats
11 Making Verbs Agree with Indefinite Pronoun Subjects You must remember back to your indefinite pronouns.If the indefinite pronoun is singular, then the verb is singular.If the indefinite pronoun is plural, then the verb is plural.If the indefinite can be both singular and plural, then you have to look to a previous sentence or prepositional phrase to find the antecedent and make the verb agree with the antecedent.
12 Singular Indefinite Pronouns AnyoneAnythingAnybodyEveryoneEverythingEverybodyNo oneNothingNobodySomeoneSomethingSomebodyEachEitherAnotherOneNeitherSingular indefinite pronouns use singular verbs (singular verbs have an “S” on the end).Singular indefinite pronouns used as the antecedent are replaced with singular personal pronouns
13 Example Sing. Indef. Pronouns Somebody should bring his or her tent on the camping trip.Each has chosen his or her activity.Everyone is welcome on the trip!
14 Plural Indef. PronounsPlural indefinite pronouns use plural verbs (plural verbs do not have an “S” on the end).Plural indefinite pronouns used as the antecedent are replaced with plural personal pronouns.FewManyBothSeveral
15 Example Plural Indef. Pronoun Both need a study hall.Few are here.Many run in the race.Several win awards.
16 Sing. and Plural Indef. Pronoun Some indefinite pronouns can be used to replace singular or plural antecedents.You know if it is singular or plural two ways. 1. Look to the prepositional phrase near it. Find the object of the preposition. If the object of the preposition is singular and is an antecedent for the indefinite pronoun, then the pronoun is singular. If the o.p. is plural, then the indefinite pronoun is plural 2. Find the antecedent for the indefinite pronoun in a previous sentence and match the plurality.If an indefinite pronoun is functioning as an antecedent, then match the personal pronoun to the indefinite pronoun when you figure out if it is singular or plural.
17 Singular or Plural Indefinite Pronouns AllAnyMostNoneSome
18 Example Sing/Plural Indef. Pronouns All of my friends are here. They are happy.Indef. Pronoun = AllO.P. = Friends“Friends” is plural, so “all” is pluralVerb = are (plural)“All” is plural, so we have to use “They” in the second sentence. “They” is plural.
19 Dealing with Subjects in Unusual Places Traditionally, a subject comes before a verb. However, a subject can be in four unusual places.1. In a question2. In a sentence that begins with “here” or “there”3. In a command4. In a sentence that begins with a phraseMake sure you find the subject and make the verb agree with it.
20 Subject Verb Agreement in Questions What on earth is he doing?Sub. = he (singular)Verb = is (singular)Are your parents coming to dinner?Sub. = parents (plural)Verb = Are (plural)
21 Subject Verb Agreement in Sentences Beginning with Here or There Here comes Prince Charming to save the princess.Sub. = Prince Charming (singular)Verb = comes (singular)There go The Three Musketeers off to save the day!Sub. = The Three Musketeers (plural)Verb = go (plural)
22 Subject Verb Agreement in Sentences That Are Commands In a command, the subject is an understood “you.” Therefore, it does not appear in the sentence. In this case, the traditional verb choice is plural.Go to the office!Stay in your seat.In both cases, I am talking to only one person, but I use a plural verb.
23 Subject Verb Agreement in Sentences That Begin with Prepositional Phrases Make sure you match the verb to the subject, not the object of the preposition.In the trees flies the bird.Sub. = birdVerb = fliesOver the river and through the woods go we to grandmother’s house.Sub. = weVerb = go
24 Problem SubjectsCollective Nouns can be singular or plural depending on how they are used in a sentence.Group, class, team, staff, family, choirSingular – when the people or things are acting as a groupEx. The choir performs for Friday masses.Plural – when the people or things are acting as individualsEx. The choir come from three different grade levels.
25 Problem SubjectsSingular Nouns ending in “s” always take singular verbs.Economics, politics, mathematics, news, etc.Ex. Economics is my favorite class.
26 Problem SubjectsTitles of art, literature, and music are always singular.Ex. Holes is my favorite book.
27 Measures and AmountsWeights, measures, numbers, and lengths of time are usually singular.Fractions can be both singular and plural depending on whether it is a fraction of one thing (singular) or a fraction of many things (plural). Look to the object of the preposition in the prepositional phrase following the fraction to help you determine the proper verb.Four cups of flour is needed to make these cookies.One half of my students are boys.One half of the cake is mine!