Wednesday 8 July 2020

Subject Verb Agreement

Subject Verb Concord (Agreement)

  • Subject Verb Agreement refers to that a verb agrees with its subject in number (singular/plural) and in person (I/you/he/she/they/it).
  • In simple words we may say that singular subject takes singular verb and plural subject takes plural verb.
  • Certain rules need to be taken care of while using verb in a sentence:

1. Singular subjects (noun/pronoun) take singular verb.
e.g.     He is an honest employee.
            Roja dances gracefully.  (V1+s/es   dance+s is singular verb)

2. Plural subjects take (noun/pronoun) take plural verb.
e.g.     They are not playing in the ground.
            My friends love me a lot. (v1 without s/es – love is plural verb)

3. Has is used singular subject.
e.g.     Adam has performed better than everybody else.
            The politician has not answered my questions in his speech.

4. Have is used with plural subject.
e.g.     My friends have agreed to come with me to cinema.
            They have been scolded for stealing my book.

5. Use of ‘with/as well as/along with/together with’ with two subjects – the verb will be used according to first subject.
e.g.     Mohan with his friends has gone to watch a movie.
            The captain along with his team members has reached the harbour safely.
            Teachers as well as the students were not happy with the performance.           
6. Use of ‘and’ with two subjects – the verb will be plural.
e.g.     Rakesh and his friends have gone to market.
            Rustam and Sohrab were Persian heroes.
            My sister and I are good dancers.

7. Two subjects together expressing one idea – singular verb is used.
e.g.     Milk and bread is a wholesome food.
            Slow and steady wins the race.
            Time and tide waits for none.

8. with ‘each’ and ‘every’ – singular verb and singular subject
e.g.     Every child is special.
           Each guest has got the gift.

9. Use of ‘or/nor’ – verb will be used according to last subject. In case of two subjects of different numbers plural subject will be placed close to verb.
e.g.     Rahul or his friends have done it.
            No nook or corner was left unexplored.

10. Use of either, neither, either-or, neither-nor – verb according to last subject. 
e.g.     Either Ram or Hari has stolen my book.
            Neither he nor his brothers have met me.

11. When two subjects joined by ‘or/nor’ are of different persons, verb agrees with the one nearest to it.
e.g.     Either he or I am mistaken.
            Neither you nor he is to blame.

12. A collective nouns, pairs and subject’s name with ‘s’ are singular subjects hence, take singular verb
e.g.     The fleet has set sail.
            The mob has dispersed.
            Mathematics is my favourite subject.
            This news seems to be a fictional story.
            Politics is not my cup of tea.

13. if two subjects are connected with ‘of/one of/none of’, verb agrees with first subject.
e.g.     One of my cousins lives in USA.
            A large number of students have scored above 90% in the test.
            None of the boys was awarded for full attendance.

14. Some nouns are always used in plural form and take plural verb even when they refer to one thing.
e.g.     Tongs are used to make chapati.
           My trousers cost Rs. 2000.
           The pair of scissors is blunt.

15.  Collective noun may be singular or plural depending on whether the individual members are acting individually or collectively such as COMPANY, GROUP, COMMITTEE, CROWD, JURY...

e.g. The committee is against the plan. (acting collectively - singular)

       The committee are divided on this agenda. (acting individually - plural)

16. When the indefinite pronouns SOME, MOST and NONE are used in a sentence, the verb will be used according to the second subject which is close to the verb.

e.g. Some of the girls were absent.

       Some of the bananas were rotten.

       Some of the ice- cream is left.

17.  When fractions are used, the verb agrees with the object of the PHRASE.

e.g.  One half of the cake was consumed.

       One fourth of the employees were attending the seminar.

18. When two qualities or posts refer to one person or one thing denoted by single article/determiner, the verb will be singular.

e.g. The CEO of the company and manager is here. (denotes to one person who is ceo as well as manager)

        The speaker and the poet are dead. (denotes to two different persons)

Video on Subject verb agreement practice

Exercise 1. ( Fill the gaps)
a. What ……………… the news on TV today? (is/are)
b. Neither of the girls ……………………… comfortable here. (is/are)
c. A series of lectures …………………been arranged by the university. (has/have)
d. The notorious dacoit with his men …………. escaped into the jungle. (have/has)
e. None of the proposals he submitted ………………… interesting. (seems/seem)
f. That night each of the boys ……………….. down with fever. (was/were)
g. Five thousand rupees ..................... an expensive price for this dress. (is/are)
h. The cost of these articles ....................... risen. (has/have)

Exercise 2. (correct the errors)

a. Neither Harry nor Sally have submitted the project.
b. The students as well as the teacher is here.
c. She is one of the persons who knows the matter.
d. Shakespeare was one of the greatest dramatists who has ever lived.
e. The students or their teacher have written this.
f. The scholar and the poet is here.

Ex. 1
a. is
b. is
c. has
d. has
e. seems
f. was
g. is
h. has
Ex. 2
a. Neither Harry nor Sally has submitted the project.
b. The students as well as the teacher are here.
c. She is one of the persons who know the matter.
d. Shakespeare was one of the greatest dramatists who have ever lived.
e. The students or their teacher has written this.
f. The scholar and the poet are here.


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