Subject-Verb Agreement

 

Remember, if the subject is singular (excluding I and You), put an –s or –es on the verb.

 

                              

one dog wags                                           three dogs wag

 

 

Various Rules:

1.      Words between the Subject and the Verb

 

          This usually involves eliminating prepositional      phrases.     Look for the list of prepositional phrases in your       book.

           

 

         

          EXAMPLE:     

          One of the boys (like, likes) to eat spinach with bananas.

 

 

 

 

Special prepositional phrases:

 

As well as . . . ., Together with . . . , Along with. . . .

         

                   EXAMPLE:

               The man, as well as his wife, (is, are) going on       vacation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.      Verbs before Subjects

 

          There are exceptions when the verb is in front of the

          subject.

 

          EXCEPTION: Beginning with “here” or “there”

 

                   There is a bird in the room.

                   There are two birds in the room.

 

          EXCEPTION:   Asking a question

 

                   Is he correct?

                   Why are they running?

 

          EXCEPTION:   Beginning with a prepositional phrase

                                      (sometimes)

 

                   In the desk is the key.

                   In the desk are the keys.

 

          EXCEPTION:   Beginning with an –ing word (sometimes)

 

                   Walking to the car are the kids.

                   Walking to the car is the child.

 

 

3.      Compound Subjects

 

          There are two kinds of compound situations.

 

          USING “AND”:          This makes a plural subject.

                                                There is no –s on the verb.

 

                   EXAMPLE:      The man and his daughter like

                                                cooking.

 

                                                Walking down the street on that                                                          dark night were Peter and his

                                                friend.

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USING “OR” or NOR”:     Think ignore.

 

                                                The verb agrees with the subject

                                                CLOSER to it.

 

                   EXAMPLE:      Either the father OR his daughters

                                                win the prize.

                                                Either the daughters OR the father

                                                wins the prize.

                                                Neither the students NOR their

                                                teacher is correct.

                                                Neither the teacher NOR the                                                                students are correct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.      Indefinite Pronouns

 

          Most end in –one, -body or –thing

          Others are the words each, either and neither.

 

          THESE WORDS ARE SINGULAR (Add –s or –es to

          verb)

 

          The word BOTH is plural (no –s on verb).

 

          EXAMPLES:    Each of the students is correct.

                                      Neither of the boys feels well.

 

          EXCEPTIONS: ALL, SOME, MOST, HALF, NONE

 

                   These words can be singular or plural, depending on

                   the sentence.

 

                   EXAMPLES:    Some of the cake is missing.

                                                Some of the slices are missing.

 

5.      Relative Pronouns: Who, Which, and That

 

          Decide which word the relative pronoun refers to.

 

                   EXAMPLES:    She is the one who comes in late.

                                                Here are the reports that were

                                                missing.

EXTRA RULES:

 

Money = singular

 

Every NOUN and NOUN = singular (-s on verb)

Each NOUN and NOUN = singular (-s on verb)

 

 

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QUIZ:  Fix the verb.  Make it agree with the subject in the present tense.

 

          The plinky of the sneels plunk the schoom.

 

 

 

          The blootum of the yourlies vrick the wop.