SUBJECT –VERB AGREEMENT
SINGULAR NOUNS = SINGULAR VERB (WITH AN S) The dog barks at the cat. PLURAL NOUNS = PLURAL VERBS (NO S) The dogs bark at the cat
1. TWO [OR MORE] SINGULAR NOUNS JOINED BY AND MAKE A PLURAL SUBJECT �The horse and the cow walk to the barn. Horse and cow are a plural subject so the verb walk has no s.
2. When each or every precedes two [or more] singular nouns joined by and, you have a singular subject. Every man and woman talks to the officer. Every tells you that your verb needs to be singular too, so the verb needs an s. In this situation, no matter how many singular nouns you join with and, the subject is still singular Every man, woman, child, teenager, and grandparent talks to the officer.
USE CAUTION WITH THESE THREE CONJUNCTIONS: EITHER … NOR, AND NOT ONLY … OR, NEITHER … BUT ALSO If you have these in your sentence, look for the noun closest to the “or”, “nor” & “but also”. That noun will determine what your verb should be. � Not only the girl but also the boys work to decorate the room. � Not only the boys but also the girl works to decorate the room. � Either the singers or the actor performs tonight. � Either the actor or the singers perform tonight. � Neither the students nor the principal likes the new rule. � Neither the principal nor the students like the new rule.
These indefinite pronouns are always singular [even when they seem plural]. Each, either, neither Anyone, anybody, anything Everyone, everybody, everything No one, nobody, nothing Someone, somebody, something Each of my friends runs three miles a day. Something always distracts me when I’m at school.
WATCH FOR INTERRUPTING PHRASES – REMOVE THE PHRASE TO HELP As well as Along with Together with - Including - In addition to - Especially The cats, along with the rabbit, hide in the barn. Jimmy, in addition to Carol and Sue, watches the film. The boy as well as the parents yells at the game.
Prepositions or Prepositional Phrases cannot be subjects. In the car are my radio and notebook. In the car is the prepositional phrase. The subject is the plural subject radio and notebook. You could say - My radio and notebook are in the car. Here is my book report. Here is a preposition; it is not the subject. Book report is the subject, and it’s singular so it needs a singular verb.
WATCH FOR COLLECTIVE NOUNS - Team -Jury -Family -Flock -Herd Like these examples, collective nouns are one unit made up of more than one thing. These are the rules that determines whether a collective noun will be a singular subject of a plural subject. If they are acting in unison/agreement (they are all doing/thinking the same thing), the subject is then singular. They are acting as one unit.
Collective Nouns Continued After talking over the pros and cons, the family agrees on the trip they should take. -If they are NOT acting in unison/agreement (they are doing different things), the subject After talking over the pros and cons, the family disagree on the trip they should take.
AN AMOUNT OF MONEY IS SINGULAREVEN IF IT SEEMS PLURAL. Fifteen dollars is all that Raymond has in his pocket. (That ONE amount is all that he has). WHEN A QUANTITY IS THE TOATL AMOUNT, USE A SINGULAR VERB. Three hundred gallons of paint costs a lot of money.