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me Teaching Unit:

Subject - Verb Agreement

Although girlfriend are more than likely alreadyfamiliar with basic subject-verb agreement, this chapter begins with a quickreview of basic agreement rules.

You are watching: Which plural noun always takes a singular verb?

Subjects and also verbsmust AGREE v one an additional in number(singular or plural). Thus, if asubject is singular, the verb must also be singular; if a topic is plural, itsverb must additionally be plural.

In the present tense, nouns and also verbsform plurals in opposite ways: nouns ADD one sto the singular form; verbsREMOVE the s indigenous the singular form.


These agreement rules perform not apply toverbs used in the basic past it is too dirty without any type of helping verbs.


The agreement rules do, however, applyto the following helping verbs once they are supplied with a key verb: is-are, was-were, has-have,does-do.


The covenant rules do not apply to has-have when supplied as theSECOND help verb in a pair.


They execute NOT use to any other helpingverbs, such together can, could, shall, should,may, might, will, would, must.


The subject-verb covenant rules applyto all personal pronouns except I and you,which, back SINGULAR, require PLURAL creates of verbs.


Nowclick on the link below to perform exercise 1.

Link to practice 1

The remainder that this to teach unitdeals through some much more advanced subject-verb commitment rules and with exceptionsto the initial subject-verb commitment rule


the word “compound” way “madeup of two or more parts.” two ormore words can be compounded or attached by joining castle with any kind of of three words:

and, or, and nor

Here room some examples of compounding:


Compound noun can role as a“compound subject.” In someinstances, a compound subject poses special difficulties for the subject-verbagreement rule (+s, -s).


However, rather of making use of twosentences (as above), us may pick to give the above information in onesentence.


This sentence provides use the a compound subject (twosubject nouns joined by and),illustrating a brand-new rule aboutsubject-verb agreement.

Although each component of the compoundsubject is singular (rangerand camper),taken with each other (joined by and),each one i do not care a component of a plural framework and, therefore, should take a plural verb (see) to agreein the sentence.

SUBJECT-VERBRULE #1 – two or an ext singular (or plural)subjects joined by andact as a pluralcompound subject and also take a pluralverb (singular + singular = plural).

You can inspect the verb by substitutingthe pronoun theyfor the link subject.


Orand noras joiners work somewhat differently from and. Whilethe native andseems to include things together, or and also nor carry out not. Theysuggest a CHOICE.

Look at this sentence.

This sentence provides use of a compound subject (twosubject nouns joined with each other by or).Each part of the compound subject (ranger,camper) is singular. Eventhough both words function together as topic (joined through or),the subject still stays SINGULAR (rangeror camper) due to the fact that a selection isimplied.

This compoundsubject, therefore, requires a singularverb to agree with it.

SUBJECT-VERBRULE #2 – two or more SINGULAR subjectsjoined through or (or nor) act together a singular link subjectand, therefore, take a singular verbto agree.

Note:Two or an ext plural topics joined through or(or nor) would normally take a pluralverb come agree.


However, orand nor can pose a moredifficult problem.

Thus far we have been functioning withcompound topics whose individual components are botheither singular or plural


Whatif one part of the compound subject is singular and the other component is plural?


What form of a verb must be offered inthis case? should the verb besingular to agree v one word? Orshould the verb be many to agree with the other?


1.If the individual parts of the compound subject are joined through and,always usage a plural verb.


2.If the individual parts of the compound subject space joined by oror nor,use the verb form (singular or plural) which will certainly agree through the subjectcloser to the verb.


Nowclick top top the link listed below to execute exercise 2.

connect to exercise 2

Group Nouns

Some nouns which name groups can beeither singular or plural relying on their meaning in individual sentences.


Because castle can describe either theindividuals in the group (more 보다 one – plural), or the team as a singleentity (one just – singular), these nouns pose one-of-a-kind problems.

However, there space some guidelines fordeciding i m sorry verb type (singular or plural) to use with one of these nouns asthe topic in a sentence.

If we refer to the group as a whole and, therefore, together a singleunit, we take into consideration the noun singular. In this case, we usage a singular verb.


If, top top the various other hand, we space actuallyreferring come the individualswithin the group, then we take into consideration the noun plural.In this case, we use a many verb.


Of course group nouns, like various other nouns,can also appear in plural forms (with an s).


When provided in the pluralform, group nouns mean much more THAN ONE GROUP.Thus, it supplies a plural verb.


Thus, there room three crucial subject– verb covenant rules to remember once a group noun is supplied as the subject:

1.Group nouns can be considered as a single unit, and, thus, take it a singularverb.

2.Group nouns have the right to be taken into consideration as individual members in ~ a solitary unit and, thus, take a pluralverb.

3.Group nouns can be provided plural develops to median twoor much more units and, thus, take it a pluralverb.

Nowclick ~ above the link listed below to carry out exercise 3.

Link to practice 3

Plural type / Singular definition Nouns

Some nouns are on regular basis plural in form, however singular in meaning.


Even though these nouns appear to beplural since they finish in s,they actually refer to just onething comprised of smaller, uncounted parts.Therefore, lock are considered singular.


You deserve to see that substituting thatpronoun itinstead the they makes much more sense here.

Another team of plural form nouns endin –ics.


Similarly, itis a an ext suitable instead of for any of this words than is they.

These nouns show up to be plural (end in s), however generallyrefer to only one thing and also are, therefore, generally thought about singular.


NOTE:Occasionally, however, the –ics nouns deserve to have a pluralmeaning: We have the right to speak aboutindividual components of this wholes. Inthis case, we use the same dominance as uses to team nouns as soon as we think about theindividual members within the group (see ar 3.3):We use a pluralverb.

Note the difference in an interpretation and,therefore, in the verb favored (singular or plural) between the two provides of the –ics noun, statistics.


Nowclick ~ above the link below to do exercise 4.

Link to exercise 4

Indefinite pronouns can pose specialproblems in topic – verb agreement.

The an obstacle is that part indefinitepronouns sound plural when they arereally singular.

As subjects, the following indefinitepronouns always take singularverbs. Look in ~ themclosely.


These have to be basic to remember.


However, the adhering to indefinitepronouns always take pluralverbs.




A third group of unknown pronounstakes either a singular or pluralverb depending upon the pronoun’s an interpretation in the sentence. Look in ~ them closely.



Nowclick top top the link below to carry out exercise 5.

Link to exercise 5

So far we have considered subjects thatcan reason subject-verb agreement confusion: compoundsubjects, groupnoun subjects, pluralform – singular meaning subjects, and also indefinite subjects.

The remainder the this to teach unitexamines subject – verb agreement problems that can result from wordplacement in sentences. Thereare four main problems: prepositionalphrases, clausesbeginning through who,that,or which,sentences beginning with hereor there,and questions.



Here is a perform of frequently usedprepositions:


A preposition phrase might be placedbetween the subject and verb.


In the above example, the singular verb is agrees v the singular subject boy.

Sometimes, however, a prepositionalphrase inserted in between the subject and verb provides agreement much more difficult.


Car is the singularsubject. Was is the singular helping verb i beg your pardon agrees through car.If us aren’t careful, however, we might mistakenly label riders together the subject because it is nearerto the verb 보다 caris. If we pick the plural noun, riders,we will certainly incorrectly pick the many verb were.


Solutionto the Prepositional expression Problem

1.Learn the major prepositions (see web page 28).

2.Be alert because that prepositional paragraph placed in between the subject and also verb,and determine the noun in the phrase instantly as the objectof a preposition: things of a preposition have the right to NEVER it is in a sentencesubject.

3.Locate the true sentence subjectand pick a verb which agrees with it.


4.Remember the indefinite pronoun EXCEPTIONS considered in ar 3.5,p.18: Some, Any, None,All, and Most.The number of these topic words IS influenced by a prepositionalphrase in between the subject and verb.

Nowclick on the link listed below to execute exercise 6.

Link to exercise 6

A clause beginning with who,that, or whichand coming between the subject and verb can cause agreement problems.

Like the preposition phrase, the who / the / which clausenever includes the subject.


TOAVOID subject – VERB covenant ERRORS .. .

1.Identify who/ the / which clauses immediately.


2.Locate the true sentence subject and also choose a verb the agrees with it.


Nowclick ~ above the link below to do exercise 7.

Link to exercise 7

When a sentence begins with there is – there room / below is– here are, the subject and also verb are inverted. After all that you have learned already, you will undoubtedlyfind this object a relatively easy one!


The verb in together constructions isobviously isorare.The subject, however, does not come before the verb.

Instead, the topic in this type ofsentence comes AFTER the verb, for this reason you must look for it after ~ the verb.


In this example, since the subject, book, is singular, theverb must also be singular.

If the topic is plural, however, thenthe verb should be plural.


In this example, because the subject, books, is plural, the verbis likewise plural.

Remember:In hereis – right here are / there is – there are constructions, look for thesubject after the verb and choose a singular (is)or a many (are) verb to agree withthe subject.

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And finally, sometimes creating aquestion will reason the subject to follow the verb together well. Here, recognize thesubject and then choose the verb the agrees v it (singular or plural).