Regular Lesson: Agreement of Subject and Verb

Quick Lesson Options

This Regular Lesson is quite long, for easier reading you can go to the following Quick Lessons instead.

  1. Quick Lesson: Agreement of Subject and Verb 1
  2. Quick Lesson: Agreement of Subject and Verb 2
  3. Quick Lesson: Agreement of Subject and Verb 3
Regular Lesson Proper

Agreement of Subject and Verb

  1. A singular subject takes a singular verb.
  1. A plural subject takes a plural verb.
  1. A compound subject joined by and usually takes a plural verb.
  1. When the parts of a compound subject are joined by and but the subject is considered a single unit, it takes a singular verb.
  1. A verb agrees with the subject, and not the predicate noun.
  1. Singular subjects joined by or or nor take a singular verb.
  1. Plural subjects joined by or or nor take a plural verb.
  1. When a singular and plural subject are joined by or or nor, the verb agrees with the nearer subject.
  1. Words intervening between the subject and the verb should be disregarded in choosing the correct form of the verb.
  1. The number of the subject is not changed by the addition of phrases beginning with with, together with, as well as, besides, accompanied by, including.
  1. In sentences beginning with the expletive there, care must be taken to determine the subject, which follows the verb.
  1. Collective nouns, such as jury, committee, team, and herd, may be either singular or plural. If they are considered as a unit, a singular verb is used; if they are considered as individuals, a plural verb is used.
  1. Indefinite Pronouns
    • Such indefinite pronouns as each, everyone, someone, nobody, either, and another take singular verbs.
    • Such indefinite pronouns as both, several, many, and few take plural verbs.
    • The indefinite pronouns some, all, and none are either singular or plural, according to their meaning.
  1. Nouns which are plural in form but singular in meaning usually take a singular verb.
  1. The title of a book, even though plural in form, takes a singular verb.

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