Subject-Verb Agreement

subject-verb agreement

The Subject and Verb must agree in person and number. If the Subject is Singular, the Verb should also be Singular. If the Subject is Plural, the Verb should also be Plural.

Singular Subject—-Singular Verb. 

Example

 He is in his room. (Singular Subject- Singular Verb)

Plural Subject—-Plural Verb. 

Example

 Children are in the ground.(Plural Subject- Plural Verb)

When two or more Singular Subjects are joined together, Plural Verb is used.

Examples

  1.  Mohan and Sohan are reading.
  2. Rekha and Seela are plucking flowers.

When two Subjects together express one idea, Singular Verb is used.

Example

Time and tide waits for none. 

When two singular Subjects refer to the same person or thing,Singular Verb is used.

Example

  1. The poet and statesman is dead.

A singular Subject followed by a Plural Modifier requires a Singular Verb.

Examples 

  1. The performance of the children is amazing.
  2. A list of selected candidates is available on the website now.

Words such as ‘Audience, congregation, crowd, group, and family’ take a Singular or Plural Verb depending upon the sentence, but it is always safe to use a Plural Verb with these Nouns.

Example

My family lives very happily. 

Everybody, somebody, nobody, anybody, each and anyone, take a Singular Verb.

Examples 

  1. Nobody is working properly.
  2. Everybody is running after money.

Nouns joined by ‘and’ take a Plural Verb.

Examples  

  1. Mango and apples are his favorite fruits.
  2. Bread and milk are my breakfast.

If Subjects are joined by or, nor, either, neither, the Verb agrees with the Subject nearest to it.

Examples 

1) Neither he nor his friend was in the class.

(i) He or his brothers have done this work.

The title of a book, play, story or a musical composition, even though Plural, takes a Singular Verb.

Examples  

  1. Cricket is a very popular game.
  2. Merchant of Venice is a very interesting party. 

When a Plural Noun comes between a Singular Subject and its Verb, the Verb agrees with the farther Singular.

Examples

  1. Each of the students was given a book. 
  2. Neither of the girls was an actress.

Words joined to a Singular Subject by with, as well as, in addition to, including, no less than, etc are parenthetical, The Verb should therefore be put in the Singular

Examples

  1. Rekha as well as her sister is learning English. 
  2. The store in addition to the form was sold. 
  3.  Mohan with all his brothers was arrested.
  • The important point is that the Verb must agree with the first Subject, irrespective of whether it is Singular or Plural. 

Example 

My friends as well as I am trying to solve this question.

  • Two Nouns qualified by ‘each’ or ‘every’, even though connected by and, require a Singular Verb.

Examples

  1.  Each boy and girl wants to read in this Institute.
  2. Every man and woman earn to support their family.

None’ is Singular, but takes a Plural/Singular Verb according to the sense involved in the sentence.

Examples

  1. When the teacher was not in the class, none was reading. 
  2.  None are so deaf as those who will not hear.

When the Plural Noun is a proper name for some single object or some collective unit, it must be followed by a Singular Verb.

Example

  1.  The United Nations is not an effective body for world peace.

Nouns like ‘glasses (spectacles), pants, trousers, shoes, people, police, scissors always take a Plural Verb. Also, descriptive Nouns like ‘the rich, the blind, the guilty’ are always Plural.

Examples

  1. His shoes are very expensive.
  2. Your trousers are very dirty. 
  3. People are getting selfish day by day. 

But when glasses (spectacles), pants, trousers, shoes, scissors are used with a pair of, they are Singular.

Examples

  1. A pair of branded shoes is very expensive. 
  2. A pair of trousers has been bought by me.

Uncountable Nouns like Advice, Media Stationary, Weather, progress are Singular and take a Singular Verb.

Examples

  1. The weather is stormy today. 

Nouns like News, Physics, Economics, Measles, Cards, Aerobics are Plural in form, but they are treated as Singular. 

Examples 

  1. Physics is a good subject.
  2. The news is fake. 

A collective Noun takes a Singular Verb when the collection is thought of as one whole. It takes a Plural Verb when the stress is on the individuals.

Examples

  1. The jury is finally complete. 
  2. The jury were divided in their opinion. 

A Singular Verb is used when a Plural Noun denotes some specific quantity or amount

Examples

  1. One fifty rupees is too much for this box. 
  2. Two-third of the field has been Ploughed. 

Unfulfilled wishes are a kind of imaginary conditionals. These types of conditionals take ‘If/as If/as though/it is time/I wish/ it is high time as the expression then it uses were

Examples

  1. I wish I were a bird. 
  2. He behaves with us as if he were a king. 

If words like Which, Who, Whom are used as a relative pronoun then the Verb follows the antecedent’s number and person.

Examples

  1. Mohan, who is a teacher, lives in this house. 
  2. The books, which I bought yesterday, are very interesting. 

Expression having Half of/two-third of/one-fourth of etc takes Plural Verb when the Noun is countable, but if the Noun is uncountable, Verb is Singular.

Examples

  1. Three fourth of the project is completed. 
  2. Half of the students in this college are researchers. 

Statements having Many of/ both of / few off/ A few of takes a Plural Noun or ProNoun followed by a Plural Verb.

Examples

  1. Many of the students are absent. 
  2. Both of the boys have delivered a good speech. 

Statements that contain Some/some of/ plenty of/ lots of/ a lot of/ all/ all of/ most/ most ot/ enough/ a great deal of takes Plural countable Noun and Plural Verb.

Examples

  1. All boys are handsome. 
  2. Some of the students have failed.

If the statements have ‘Many/ a great many/ a good many’, the Noun and Verb both are Plural 

Example

  1. Many students are reading grammar here. 

Statements that contain ‘A number of/a large number of etc take Plural Noun and Plural Verb.

Examples

  1. A number of farmers are protesting in Delhi.
  2. A large number of fans have come to see him. 

Exception:-We know that most Plural Nouns and Plural proper names end in ‘s/ y’ and we use a Plural Verb with them. But, there are some exceptions also.

Remember that a few Nouns are always Plural, even though they don’t end in ‘s’ and they take a Plural Verb.

Examples

  1. People have not elected him this year. 
  2. The police were baffled.
  3. The children are playing cricket. 

Practice Set.

  1. Three-fourth of the house ……………… damaged by the earthquake. [was/were]
  2. There ………………  two passengers on the bus. [are/is]
  3. Sheela as well as her cousins ……………… in the fair. [is/are]
  4. The teacher with all his students ……………… at the conference. [was/were]
  5. Five and five ……………… ten. [makes/make]
  6. Neither of my brothers ……………… doctor. [are/is]
  7. The great writer and storyteller ……………… come to our college. [has/have]
  8. Every member of my family ……………… success.[is/are]
  9. Which of those books ……………… mine? [is/was]
  10. Two thousand rupees ……………… ticket of this train. [is/are]
  11. None but the brave ……………… till the end. [fight/fight]
  12. Harry and Riya ……………… going to watch a movie. [are/is]
  13. Every boy and girl ……………… to success. [wants/want]
  14. Neither he nor his brother ……………… guilty. [is/are]
  15. Not only the teacher but even the principal ……………… him for his noble work. [praise/praises]
  16. Either Sohan or Rohan ……………… stolen your watch. [has/have]
  17. One of my students ……………… gone to America. [has/have]
  18. Each of us ……………… English. [knows/know]
  19. Nobody ………………stale food. [likes/like]
  20. He is one of the men who  ……………… a successful businessman. [are/is]
  21. This is one of those boys who never ……………… a lie. [tells/tell]
  22. 80 percent ……………… good marks in the board exam. [is/are]
  23. Three months ………………  too long to do this work properly. [is/are]
  24. Economics ……………… my favorite subject. [is/are]
  25. Neither of the boys ……………… reading biology. [is/are]
  26. The news ……………… too good to be true. [is/are]
  27. A pair of trousers ……………… being washed by me. [is/are]
  28. The scissors……………… not yours. [is/are]
  29. The sceneries of Kashmir ……………… very charming. [is/are]
  30. None of the candidates ……………… working hard. [is/are]

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