Have you ever received a “subject/verb match” as an error on a piece of paper? This document will help you understand this common grammar problem. Oil and gas are a popular heating choice. Peanut butter combined with bread and jelly is a delicious snack. (Here, peanut butter, bread and jelly are a unit, a sandwich, so no comma is needed and we keep the singular verb.) In the present tense, nouns and verbs form plurals in opposite ways: would you say, for example, “You`re having fun” or “You`re having fun”? Since “she” is plural, you would opt for the plural form of the verb “are”. Are you ready to immerse yourself in a world where subjects and verbs live in harmony? Published by Kerry Evans Kerry is Senior Editor for AJHG and Immunity. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with degrees in journalism and biology and intended to enter science journalism. However, the love of publishing and a job offer from Cell Press caught her in 2000, and she hasn`t looked back since — at least not much, and not recently. She has five young children: a daughter and four sons. His many activities include hiking with his family, researching wild foods, and creating (and consuming) delicious food.
4. Is not a contraction of not and should only be used with a singular subject. Don`t is a contraction of do not and should only be used with a plural subject. The exception to this rule occurs with the first-person and second-person pronouns I and U. With these pronouns, contraction should not be used. Shouldn`t Joe be followed by the what and not by the merchandise, since Joe is singular? But Joe isn`t really there, so let`s say who wasn`t. The sentence demonstrates the subjunctive mood used to express hypothetical, useless, imaginary, or factually contradictory things. The subjunctive connects singular subjects to what we generally consider plural verbs.
Subjects and verbs must match in number for a sentence to make sense. Even though grammar can be a little weird from time to time, there are 20 subject-verb match rules that summarize the topic quite succinctly. Most subject-verb match concepts are simple, but exceptions to the rules can make it more complicated. 14. Indefinite pronouns generally assume singular verbs (with a few exceptions). Article 7 Use a singular verb with distances, periods, sums of money, etc. if you are considered a unit. 10-A. Use a plural verb with one of these _____ When considered a unit, collective nouns, as well as nominal expressions for quantity, take singular verbs. 16. When two infinitives are separated by “and”, they take the plural form of the verb. The problem with grammar rules from the point of view of modern linguistics is that many rules are not absolute.
There are a plethora of exceptions to the rules, as we can see here. It can be helpful to bookmark compressed lists of rules like this. [Note: This is where the prepositional sentence affects the subject. It tells you whether you are talking about a part of a thing (singular) or a set of things (plural).] Rule 2. Two singular subjects related by or, either/or, require a singular verb. Rule 1. A topic comes before a sentence that begins with von. This is a key rule for understanding topics. The word of is the culprit of many, perhaps most, subject-verb errors.
Authors, speakers, readers, and hasty listeners may overlook the all-too-common error in the following sentence: In the example above, plural verbs coincide with closer subject actors. The subject-verb correspondence sounds simple, doesn`t it? A singular subject takes a singular verb: collective nouns (team, couple, collaborator, etc.) take a singular verb. 7. The verb is singular if the two subjects separated by “and” refer to the same person or the same thing as a whole. If a subject is singular and plural, the verb coincides with the nearest subject. 12. Use a singular verb for each ____ and a few ______ For more sentences that show the correct match between the subject and the verb, see Examples of Subject-Verb Correspondence. You can also download our shorter infographic on the top 10 rules and keep it handy.
9. In sentences that begin with “there is” or “there is”, the subject follows the verb. Since “there” is not the subject, the verb corresponds to the following. 11. Expressions as with, with, including, accompanied by, in addition to or even change the subject number. If the subject is singular, so is the verb. 8. Nouns such as scissors, tweezers, pants and scissors require plural verbs. (These things consist of two parts.) Section 3. The verb in a sentence or, either/or, or neither/yet is in agreement with the noun or pronoun closest to it.
When the subject follows the verb (especially in sentences that begin with the “there is” or “there is” expletives), special care is required to determine the subject and ensure that the verb corresponds to it. 19. The titles of books, films, novels and other similar works are treated in the singular and take on a singular verb. Of course, none of us would ever write “Subjects need verbs” or “This typist needs new ideas.” We all know that plural subjects take plural verbs and singular subjects take singular verbs. But can you identify the right verb choice in each sentence below (the answers are at the end of this tip)? However, the plural verb is used when the focus is on the individuals in the group. It is much rarer. Being able to find the right subject and verb will help you correct subject-verb match errors. 3. If a composite subject contains both a noun or a singular and plural pronoun that is connected by or again, the verb must correspond to the part of the subject that is closest to the verb.
At this time, it should be clear that subject-verb matching is not always easy. Stay tuned for a deeper look at some of these topics and other confusing cases next time. Subjects and verbs must correspond in number (singular or plural). So, if a subject is singular, its verb must also be singular; If a subject is plural, its verb must also be plural. This document gives you several guidelines to help your subjects and verbs get along. This sentence refers to the individual efforts of each crew member. The Gregg Reference Manual provides excellent explanations of subject-verb correspondence (section 10:1001). 27 M When gerunds are used as the subject of a sentence, they take the singular form of the verb. However, if they are related by “and”, they take the plural form.
A relative pronoun (“who”, “who” or “that”) used as the subject of an adjective theorem adopts a singular or plural verb to correspond to its predecessor. For money, if the amount is specific, use a singular verb; If the amount is vague, use a plural verb. III. Finally, to make things even more complicated, THE ONLY ONE OF THE + PLURAL NOUN + WHO / THAT + ______ NEEDS A SINGULAR VERB for the “_____”. Example: The list of items is/is on the desktop. If you know that the list is the subject, then choose is for the verb. In the space of a year, $5 million was spent on building a new plant, and millions more was spent on training future factory workers. (“$5 million” is a certain amount. Therefore, the verb is singular.) Every year, funds are made available to support medical research. (“Fund” is a vague term rather than a certain amount.
Therefore, the verb is plural.) 2. Subordinate clauses between the subject and the verb have no influence on their correspondence. We will use the standard of emphasizing topics once and verbs twice. Note: The word dollar is a special case. When talking about a sum of money, we need a singular verb, but when referring to the dollars themselves, a plural verb is required. 1. If the subject of a sentence consists of two or more nouns or pronouns connected by and, use a plural verb. Article 5a. Sometimes the subject is separated from the verb by words such as with, as well as no, etc. These words and phrases are not part of the topic.
Ignore them and use a singular verb if the subject is singular. Sugar is countless; therefore, the theorem has a singular verb. Subject-verb correspondence: If you`ve been speaking, writing, and reading English for a while, you probably think you`ve covered these most basic grammar topics. 11. The singular verb form is generally reserved for units of measurement or time. Article 4. As a general rule, use a plural verb with two or more subjects if they are through and connected. In recent years, the SAT testing service has not considered anyone to be strictly singular. According to Merriam-Webster`s Dictionary of English Usage: “Clearly, none since Old English has been both singular and plural and still is. The idea that it is only singular is a myth of unknown origin that seems to have emerged in the 19th century. If this sounds singular in context, use a singular verb; If it appears as a plural, use a plural verb.
Both are acceptable beyond any serious criticism. If no one should clearly mean “not one,” a singular verb follows. Observe the subject-verb correspondence in your sentences though. The expression “more than one” takes on a singular verb. Warning: phrases like “in addition to,” “like,” and “with” don`t mean the same as “and.” When inserted between the subject and the verb, these sentences do not change the subject number. Anyone who uses a plural verb with a collective noun should be careful to be accurate – and also consistent. It should not be taken lightly. The following is the kind of erroneous sentence you often see and hear these days: This rule can lead to bumps in the road. For example, if I am one of two (or more) subjects, it could lead to this strange sentence: 4. For composite subjects related by ou/ou, the verb corresponds to the subject closer to it. Note: In this example, the subject of the sentence is the pair; therefore, the verb must correspond to it.