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English
SUBJECT- VERB AGREEMENT
December 18, 2015
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Rule no 1: A singular subject must have singular verb e.g.

 

He writes.                        She plays.

 

Rule no 2: A plural subject must have a plural verb e.g.

 

They write.                   We play.

 

Rule no 3: Two subjects joined by ‘and’ will always take a plural verb e.g.

 

The doctor and nurse work together.

 

Rule no 4: If two subjects express one idea, ­use a singular verb e.g.

 

Bread and butter is a wholesome food.             Soup and salad is too light a lunch.

 

Rule no 5:     Two singular subjects joined by ‘or’ or ‘nor’ will take a singular verb e.g. A doctor or a nurse works in the hospital.

 

Rule no 6: A singular subject and a plural subject joined by ‘either-or’ and ‘neither-

nor’, ‘none but’, ‘not only but also’ will take a singular or plural verb depending on which subject is near the verb e.g.

 

Neither Deepak nor his friends are joining the tour. Neither his friends nor Deepak is joining the tour.

 

None but the leaders of our country are responsible for this.

 

Rule no 7: Indefinite pronouns such as someone, somebody, no body, one, none, everyone, everybody, either, neither, etc. always take a singular verb e.g.

 

Each of my friends calls me once a month.

 

Rule no 8: Indefinite plural pronouns (several, all, few, both and many) always take plural verbs e.g.

 

Both of the books require careful reading. Several fielders run four or five kilometer a day.

 

Rule no 9: The title of a book needs singular verbs e. g.

 

‘Great Expectations’ is a popular book.  ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ is an interesting book.

 

Rule no 10:   If two subjects are joined together by ‘as well as’, ‘with’, ‘along with’, ‘together with’, ‘besides’, ‘in addition to’, ‘and not’, ‘rather than’, the verb will act according to the first subject e.g.

 

He as well as his brothers is sitting there.           I as well as he am going out of station for a week.

 

Rule no 11: The subject ‘Many a’ is always followed by A singular verb e.g.

 

Many a man was drowned in the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rule no 12: If the subject is the ‘number of’, use a singular verb e.g.

 

The number of books is very small.                   The number of boys in this team is ten.

 

Rule no 13: If the subject begins with A number of, use a plural verb e.g.

 

A number of books are missing.