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Lesson Eight: Agreement of Subject and Predicate

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1 Lesson Eight: Agreement of Subject and Predicate
Mastery of English Grammar and Mechanics PowerPoint, © April by Prestwick House, Inc. All rights reserved. ISBN Item #:

2 Lesson Eight In the present tense, most verbs remain unchanged except for the use of he, she, or it. In this instance, the verb takes an “s.” I walk (we walk) you walk (you walk) he, she, it walks (they walk) Most of the time, you won’t have a problem with this agreement.

3 Lesson Eight Here are some problem areas: When words come between the subject and verb. One of the boys (walk, walks) the fastest. In this sentence, one is the subject, not boys; therefore, the singular subject one agrees with the singular, third person, walks. The phrase “of the boys” is a prepositional phrase. To make sure you know the subject, first cross out any prepositional phrases.

4 Lesson Eight If you are still unsure, try the pronoun substitution check. One of the boys (drive, drives) the best. One of the boys (He) drives the best. Of all the girls in the troop, Janice and Sally (was, were) the most helpful. Of all the girls in the troop, Janice and Sally, (they) were the most helpful.

5 Lesson Eight Remember: of, on, from, with, to, in, for, by, at are the most common introduction to prepositional phrases. The following pronouns are almost always used with singular verbs. Memorize them. anyone everyone one each nobody somebody everybody no one someone

6 Lesson Eight Everybody in the room (is, are) listening. Every single person in the room is listening. Each of the boys (has, have) his own. Each one of the boys has his own.

7 Lesson Eight Although there are exceptions, none (not one) and any (any single one) are generally singular. None of us drives. (not one of us) Any of the actors is ready. (any single actor)

8 Lesson Eight The following pronouns are always used with plural verbs: both few many several Several in this box were broken. (they were) Both of the doors in the cabinet have opened. (they have)

9 Lesson Eight Compound subjects joined by and are plural. Joan and Sue (they) make the best pie. Singular subjects joined by or or nor are singular. Joan or Sue (she) makes the best pie.

10 Lesson Eight When a singular word and a plural word are joined by or or nor in a compound subject, the verb agrees with the subject nearer to it. Bob or his brothers (they) drive to school. In the subject—Bob or his brothers—brothers is closer to the verb “drive,” than Bob is; so it is, they drive—brothers drive. Neither the firemen nor the chief (he) knows how the fire started. Chief is closer to the verb “knows” than firemen is; so it is, he knows—the chief knows.

11 Lesson Eight Here and there are never the subject of a sentence, so look elsewhere for the subject. Wrong: There is many reasons why you cannot go. Right: There are many reasons why you cannot go.

12 Lesson Eight The verb “to do” takes two forms in the present tense: do and does I do we do you do you do he, she, it do they do Generally, few people have trouble with this verb, except when it is used with the contraction n’t. Instead of saying John doesn’t, many people say John don’t. If you get in the habit of saying he does not, rather than using the contraction, you can easily avoid this mistake.

13 Lesson Eight When a noun is used in the sentence, use the pronoun substitution check as well as avoiding the contraction. The police officer (don’t, doesn’t) know. The police officer (he) does not know. Jack and Phil (don’t, doesn’t) know either. Jack and Phil (they) do not know either.

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