Presentation on theme: "MRS. WILLIAMS Verbs! Glorious Verbs!. Keeping the Harmony! First, you must make subjects agree with their verbs in number and in person. If you use a."— Presentation transcript:
Keeping the Harmony! First, you must make subjects agree with their verbs in number and in person. If you use a singular subject, use a singular verb; if you use a plural subject use a plural verb. Let’s look at some examples!
Subject-Verb Agreement Examples Do these subject and verbs agree? 1. My favorite bakery sell 12 different kind of bagels. 2. Brad spends hours at basketball practice. 3. In weightlifting contests, competitors lifts heavy barbells.
The Problem of Prepositions One problem comes from not using the right word as your subject. Mentally disregard any prepositional phrases that come after the subject. The tray of ice cubes (has, have) fallen on the kitchen floor. The tray (has, have) fallen on the kitchen floor.
Pesky Prepositions Mr. Lilly, along with his dogs Pretzel and Popcorn, (was, were) walking down Hillcrest Road. Again mentally cross off the prepositional phrase-no matter how long it is Mr. Lilly (was, were) walking down Hillcrest Road.
Problem Pronouns When indefinite pronouns are the subject of the sentence, you need to look at the individual pronoun. “Several scouts are [ not is] in the stands at tonight’s game,” whispered the coach.
Pronoun Problems Continued The problem with indefinite pronouns is that a few of them are considered to be singular, even though they indicate a plural number. Everybody is [not are] here, so we can get started on the trip. No one is [ not are] going to complain if you want to pick up the tab for tonight’s meal.
Pronouns Continued Five pronouns (all, any, most, none, and some) sometimes take a singular verb and sometimes take a plural verb. In each case, you have to look at the object of the preposition to decide whether to use a singular or plural verb. “Some of the money is [ not are] missing!” cried the teller.
Compounding the Problem: Compound Subjects Compound subjects (subjects joined by and) take a plural verb. Mary and Mark (are, is) here. Mr. and Mrs. Claxton (are, is) joining us for an informal dinner tonight.
Compound Subjects Continued Here’s an exception: If you have two or more subjects joined by and- and the subjects are thought of as one unit- then use a singular verb. Peanut butter and jelly is my favorite kind of sandwich. Is spaghetti and meatballs the special tonight?
Compound Subjects Continued Second Exception: Singular subjects joined by or or nor take a singular verb. My teacher or my adviser (is, are) here to help me pick my new classes. The butcher, the baker, or the candlestick maker (is, are) coming to tomorrow’s career fair.
Compound Subject Continued Third Exception: Plural Subjects joined by or or nor take a plural verb. The horses or the pigs are making too much noise tonight.
Compound Subjects Continued Fourth Exception: If you have one singular subject and one plural subject you look at the subject that is closer to the verb. My cat or my three dogs are coming with me on the trip. My three dogs or my cat is making me itch all the time.
Special Situations The phrase the only one of those uses a singular verb The only one of those people I feel comfortable with is Gail Prince. The phrase one of those uses a plural verb Gail is one of those people who always listen when I have a problem.
Special Situations Many, every, and more than one use singular verbs Every wife tries to help her husband understand. More than one person is upset about the outcome of the election.
Special Situations Collective nouns name groups, such as cast, fleet, or gang. Use a singular verb if you mean that the individual members of the group act or think together (they act as one unit). The couple is renewing its donation of $50,000 for scholarships.
Special Situations Use a plural verb if you mean that the individual members of the group act or think separately (they have different opinions or actions). The couple were cleared of the charges of embezzlement of $50,000.
Special Situations When a particular measurement or quantity (time, money, weight, volume, food, or fractions) is considered as one unit or group, then use a singular verb. Ten dollars to see this movie is highway robbery!
Special Situations When you use the words pants, trousers, shears, spectacles, glasses, tongs, and scissors alone, you use a plural verb. These pants are not too tight. Put the words a pair of in front of these terms and you will use a singular verb. This pair of pants is too tight.
Special Situations A title of a creative work always acts as a singular subject, even if a noun within the title is plural. “Glory Days” describes high school experiences. The names of countries and cities require singular verbs. New Orleans hosts Mardi Gras every spring.