This lesson focuses on twenty unavoidable rules to follow concerning the subject-verb agreement in sentences. The basic rule states that a singular subject takes a singular verb while a plural subject takes a plural verb.
1. 20 Rules of Subject Verb
Can't we all just get along?
2. 1. Subjects and verbs must agree in number. * Singular subject = singular verb an * Plural subject = plural verb a * Cowe= singular, eats= singular * Ducks= plural, quack= plural P) * *Hint*= SVS- singular verbs have an S * Singular yes?- the verb has an “S”! * Singular no? The “S” has to go!
2. Don't get confused by the words that come between the subject and verb. The detective who was called to the case Is usually very good.
4. 3. Prepositional phrases between the subject and verb usually do not affect the agreement. ge ) The biker in this race is very competitive. The bikers jn this race are very competitive.
5. 4. lf a sentence starts with “there” or “ here”, the subject will always be placed after the verb. ri . 5 j There is a meeting today. at ia Here are the results from this past month.
5. Subjects can come after the verb in questions. * Does Betty always play with dolls?
* How are the Bosco sticks today?
7. 6. If two subjects are joined by “and”, they typically require a plural verb. *) The puppy and the lady are friends.
8. 7. lf two subjects are separated by “and” refer to the same thing, the verb is singular. *) Spaghetti and meatballs is my favorite
8. If both subjects are singular and connected by or, nor, neither/nor, either/or and not only/but also, the verb is singular. * Sally or Bubba has stolen the
* Not only the guitar player but also the drummer was soaked with sweat. rt
9. If both subjects are plural and connected by the words or, nor, neither/nor, either/or, and not only/but also, the verb is plural. *) Cookies or brownies are nice treats for your teacher.
11. 10. If one subject is singular and one plural and are connected by the words or, nor, neither/nor, either/or, and not only/but also, use the subject that is nearest the *) Either my sisters or my mom has sent me a present. *
* Not only Bob but also fhe Smiths want some hamburgers for supper.
12. 11. Units of measurement usually use a singular verb. * Six gallons of paint was used on the house. ak * Five dollars is too much for a cup of coffee. vy . a | re)
12. Collective nouns usually take a singular verb. *) The herd is stampeding. oulecrngs aren 8 he class was ready for the test.
14. 13. Titles of books, movies, novels, etc. are treated as * Holes was one of my favorite books.| want to see the movie.
15. 14. Two infinitives separated by and take a plural verb. * To run and to read are my two favorite ‘Free-time” activities. eZ A
15. Gerunds alone take a singular verb. Gerunds linked by and take a plural verb. * Dancing is not something everyone can do as well as | can! are oR,
17. 16. If the words each, every or no come before the subject, the verb is singular.
» Each boy and girl_has to take the test. *) Every frog and toad turns into a prince. * No paper and pen is reac (But an apple would be nice!:) ~ » Dancing and singing come naturally to me
18. 17. Most indefinite pronouns take singular verbs.
one body thing someone somebody something anyone anybody anything No one nobody nothing everyone everybody everything Little One * Everybody is happy. Another Neither * No one has a dime. Much Either * Nothing was going to help.
19. 18. Both, few, many, others, and several take a plural verb. * Several need to finish the race. * A few have the right answer. i
19. When the subject is all, any, more, most, none, or some, this is the ONLY time you must look at the object of the prepositional phrase to determine whether it is singular or plural. * All of the chickens have laid eggs. are nHECiREes * Some of the milk has spilled. ore EEE,
20. Final rule- Remember, only the SUBJECT affects the verb!