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Subject Verb Agreement. The Rule A verb must agree with its subject in number and person.

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Presentation on theme: "Subject Verb Agreement. The Rule A verb must agree with its subject in number and person."— Presentation transcript:

1 Subject Verb Agreement

2 The Rule A verb must agree with its subject in number and person

3 A singular subject takes a singular verb A plural subject takes a plural verb

4 With most verbs, the only change in form to indicate agreement in person occurs in the present tense. An –s (or –es) is added to the base form of the verb when its subject is third-person singular.

5 Example Singular She speaks. He exercises. She pitches Plural They speak. They exercise. They pitch.

6 Avoid mistaking a word in a prepositional phrase for the subject of a sentence

7 Example The concerns of Dr. Anagnos did not stop Annie from traveling to Alabama.

8 Predicate Nominative (PN) Follows a linking verb and describes the subject of the sentence.

9 Do not be confused by a predicate nominative that is different in number from the subject. Only the subject affects the number of the linking verb. Predicate Nominative (PN)

10 Example S: The lightest crate is two tons. P: Recent studies on the behavior of wild animals are his topic for the day.

11 An inverted sentence is a sentence in which the subject follows the verb. In these sentences, be careful when locating the subject, and make sure the subject agrees with the verb. Inverted Sentences

12 Examples SINGULAR: In the jungle roars the lion. PLURAL: In the jungle roar the lions.

13 Collective Nouns A collective noun names a group. EXAMPLES: family team class committee

14 A collective noun is singular when it refers to a group as a whole. A collective noun is plural when it refers to each member of the group individually.

15 Examples 1.SINGULAR: His family arrives. 2.PLURAL: His family are well. 3.SINGULAR: The committee decides. 4.PLURAL: The committee sign their names.

16 Special Nouns Certain nouns that end in –s, such as mumps, measles, and mathematics, take singular verbs. S: Mumps is a disease.

17 Special Nouns Certain other nouns that end in –s, such as scissors, pants, binoculars, and eyeglasses, take plural verbs. P: The scissors were sharp.

18 Special Nouns Many nouns that end in –ics may be singular or plural, depending upon their meaning. S: Statistics is an interesting subject. P: Statistics show that women live longer than men.

19 Nouns of Amount When a noun of amount refers to a total that is considered as one unit, the noun is singular. S: Three dollars is not too much money for that book.

20 Nouns of Amount When a noun of amount refers to a number of individual units, the noun is plural. S: Three dollars are on the table.

21 Titles A title is always singular, even if a noun within the title is plural. S: The Miracle Worker is the story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan.

22 Compound Subjects A compound subject that is joined by and or both…and is plural unless its parts belong to one unit or the parts both refer to the same person or thing.

23 Examples P: The lion and the tiger are roaring. Both skiing and skating are fun. S: Peanut butter and jelly is a favorite combination. His friend and companion accompanies him.

24 Compound Subjects Compound subjects joined by or or nor (or by either…or or neither…nor), the verb always agrees with the subject nearer the verb.

25 Compound Subjects P: Neither the lion nor the tigers are roaring. S: Either the lion or the tiger is roaring. Neither the lions nor the tiger roars.

26 Compound Subjects When many a, every, or each precedes a compound subject, the subject is considered singular. S: Many a giraffe and elephant lives in the nature preserve. Every chair, bench, and table was taken. Each lion and tiger is roaring.

27 Intervening Expressions Some expressions, such as accompanied by, as well as, in addition to, plus, and together with, introduce phrases that modify the subject but do not change its number. These expressions do not create compound subjects.

28 Examples 1.Margaret, accompanied by her date, was the first girl to dance. 2.The pianist, as well as the guitarist, the saxophonist, and the lead singer, is late. 3.Her course load, plus her extracurricular activities, was a lot to handle.

29 Indefinite Pronouns as Subjects A verb must agree in number with an indefinite pronoun subject. There are three groups of indefinite pronouns: always singular, always plural, and singular or plural.

30 Singular Indefinite Pronouns Singular indefinite pronouns always take singular verbs. 1.Everybody is going to the rodeo. 2.No one in the audience looks upset.

31 Plural Indefinite Pronouns Plural indefinite pronouns always take plural verbs. P: Both of the children are in school this morning. P: Many of the books were donated to the library.

32 Singular or Plural A pronoun from the group labeled “singular or plural can be either singular or plural, depending on the noun to which it refers. S: Some of the dessert is left. P: Some of the commuters were caught in the rainstorm.


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