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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

SUBJECT AND VERB AGREEMENT - CONCORD

PRONOUNS
I
I
am
verb
Singular 
Subject          +        is/verb(s)
He
She
It
One
is
verb(s)
Plural
Subjects        +        are/verb
We
They
You
Many
are
verb
AND
Nouns
Joined           +        are/ verb
With
and
X and Y
are
verb
Both X and Y
Both X and Y
are
verb
2 nouns joined by “and” BUT
Treated as ONE unit
Fish and chips
Rock and roll
Trial and error
is
verb(s)
SPECIAL PRONOUNS
Everybody  Everyone Everything
Somebody Someone Something
Anybody  Anyone  Anything
Nobody   No one   Nothing
is
verb(s)
QUANTIFYING WORDS
Every
Each
Each of
Not one of
More than one
Every boy
Each boy
Each of the boys
Not one of the boys
More than one boy


is
verb(s)
ALL
All  except…
All but…
All except Tim
All except the boys
are
verb
All + Countable……..…plural verb
All the boys
are
verb
All + Uncountable….singular verb
All the rice
is
verb(s)
THERE
Singular Noun
There is
one dog.
Plural Noun
There are
many dogs.
(Proximity Rule)  
When “and” is used,
“be” verb agrees with first item


There is

There are

a dog and two cats.

two cats and a dog.
UNCOUNTABLE (THINGS)
Uncountable Noun
Water  Smoke  Food  Bread
Hair  Sugar Salt
Water
Salt
Food
is/ verb(s)
Uncountable Noun
(group of things)
Traffic
Furniture
Clothing
Jewellery
is/ verb(s)
COLLECTIVE NOUNS (ANIMALS)
A group of animals
Groups of animals
A flock of ducks
Flocks of ducks
is/ verb(s)
are/verb
Special Nouns – always plural
Never singular
Cattle
Vermin
are/verb
Verb is NEVER singular.
Animals
depends on context

deer, sheep, fish, salmon,
 trout, haddock, plaice

Same in spelling for
singular or plural form
The deer (one)
The deer (many)

This fish (one)
These fish(many)
is/ verb(s)
are/verb

is/ verb(s)
are/verb

Verb can be singular or plural depending on the subject.
PEOPLE
Collective Nouns  (Depends on context).     
 Audience   Band  Class  Committee  Family  Jury  Staff  Team
Group as one whole – follows singular verb.
The football team
This class
The family
practises with its coach.
has the best results.
lives in woodlands.
Group as many individuals-follows plural verb.


The football team
This class

The family
are trying their best.
are excited about the outing.
have been falling sick.
SPECIAL NOUNS
 (referring to many people)
Noun is always in plural form… follows plural verb.
Police
Personnel
Rich
Poor
are/ verb
NOUN PHRASE
The main noun is singular, use singular verb.
The smell of Milo
The noise of the plane
The use of the mobile phones
is/ verb(s)
The main noun is plural, use plural verb.
The toys in the box
The pencils on the table
are/verb
ONE OF
“One of” phrase follows a singular verb as it agrees with the singular noun “one”.
One of my boys
is
ONE OF … WHO
“One of…who” phrase follows a plural verb as it agrees with the plural noun before “who”.
One of the boys who 

Tom is one of the boys who
steal is my friend.

like to steal.
SPECIAL PHRASES
Together with    Along with    As well as    In addition to    With    Like
The Noun Phrase before the special phrases decides the verb used.
John
together with xxx
is/verb(s)
The boys
together with xxx
are/verb
NEITHER …OF
EITHER…OF
Either…of” and “Neither…of” follow singular verbs.
Either means one of two.
Neither means none of two.
Either one of the boys
Neither of these boys
is/ verb(s)
EITHER…OR
NEITHER…NOR
The verb agrees with the subject nearest to it.
Either the boys or John
Neither the boys nor John
is/ verb(s)
Either John or his boys
Neither John nor the boys
are/ verb
OR
When a verb follows a list of nouns linked by “or”, it agrees with the subject nearest to it.
Eating or drinking
Alan, Mary or John
is/ verb(s)
A NUMBER/A TOTAL              
THE NUMBER/THE TOTAL
A number/ a total (meaning many) follows a plural verb.
A number of Sars cases
A total of thirty boys
are/ verb
The number/ the total (meaning a specific number) follows a singular verb.
The number of Sars cases
The total number of boys
is/ verb(s)
TIME  MONEY  DISTANCE
As a single unit/sum…use singular verb.
Two months

Five kilometres

Ten dollars (as a sum, not ten individual dollars).
is not a lot.
As a plural unit…use plural verb
Two months
have passed quickly.
PERCENTAGE
When percentage/percent is used in front of a singular noun, use singular verb.
A small percentage of the working population

does not save.
When percentage/percent is used in front of a plural noun, use plural verb.
A small percentage of the workers
Five per cent of the pupils

do not save.
are girls.
The percentage” always follows a singular verb.
The percentage of boys
is/ verb(s)
MAJORITY  MINORITY
Always with plural verbs
The majority of the boys
A minority of the boys
are/ verb
TITLES
Titles of books, films or songs
Names of countries and places
Use a singular verb.
“The Three Little Pigs”
The Himalayas
is/ verb(s)


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"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

Henry David Thoreau