SUBJECT VERB AGREEMENT - 1
To enable the learners to identify some of the possible errors occur in subject verb agreement.
According to grammar, the subject of any sentence has to agree with its verb. The following are some of
the common errors take place in subject verb agreement.
1. If the subject of a sentence has two or more nouns or pronouns, plural verb should be used.
She and her friends are at the fair. (Right)
She and her friends is at the fair. (Wrong)
2. If two or more singular nouns or pronouns are linked by or, nor, singular verb should be used.
The book or the pen is in the drawer. (Right)
The book or the pen are in the drawer. (Wrong)
3. If a compound subject has both a singular and a plural noun or pronoun linked by or. nor, the verb
should agree with the subject nearer to the verb.
The boy or his friends run every day. (Right)
His friends or the boy runs every day. (Right)
4. The helping verb Does should be used only for singular subjects like He, She, and it The helping verb Do
should be used for plural subjects like I, You (exception), We, and They.
He doesn't like it. (Right) He don't like it. (Wrong)
They don't like it. (Right) They doesn't like it. (Wrong)
5. The phrase that appears between the subject and the verb should be observed carefully. The verb
goes only with the subject, but not with a noun or pronoun in the sentence.
One of the doors is open (Right)
One of the doors are open (Wrong)
The public who listen to that music are few. (Right)
The public who listen to that music is few. (Wrong)
The team leader, as well as his members, is anxious. (Right)
The team leader, as well as his members, are anxious. (Wrong)
The novel, including all the chapters in the first section, is boring. (Right)
The novel, including all the chapters in the first section, are boring. (Wrong)
The hawker with his food items walks down the street. (Right)
The hawker with his food items walk down the street. (Wrong)
6. Pronouns like each, each one, either, neither, everyone, everybody, anybody, anyone, nobody,
somebody, someone, and no one are singular and take singular verbs.
Each of these machines is noisy. (Right)
Each of these machines are juicy. (Wrong)
Everybody respects Bill Gates. (Right)
Everybody respect Bill Gates. (Wrong)
Either is acceptable. (Right)
Either are acceptable. (Wrong)
7. Some nouns which seem to be plural with S ending are always singular (i.e Economics, Statistics , measles, dollars etc,) and ake singular verbs.
Measles is a disease. (Right)
Measles are a disease. (Wrong)
Phonetics is a difficult subject. (Right)
Phonetics are a difficult subject. (Wrong)
Ten dollars is a lot of money.
8. Nouns like pants, scissors, tangs, tweezers, trousers, and shears require plural verbs.
These tangs are not good.
Those scissors s are made of steel.
9. Collective nouns can be used with singular (if referred as group or whole) verb and plural verb (If referred individually).
The team accepts its defeat. (Group)
The committee are divided into different opinions on the issue. (Individually)
The family has a long history.
My family has never been able to agree.
10. Phrases like, together with, including, accompanied by, in addition to, or as well do not change the
number of the subject. If the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular.
The leader, accompanied by his wife, is traveling to U.K.
All of the clothes, including yours, are in that box.