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LECTURE 6 : SUBJECT - VERB AGREEMENT

ITEM /ENTITY TALKED ABOUT ACTION WORD MATCH :

SINGULAR /PLURAL
TENSE

1) A Singular verb follows a singular subject and a plural verb follows a plural subject
e.g. The rich man donates money to charity. His wife does the same thing too.
e.g. Malaysians are caring people. They donate generously to the tsunami victims. .

2a) When 2 or more singular subjects are joined by the conjunction and a plural verb is used
Example

The rich man and his wife donate money to charity. John and Mathew sing well. Leslie and Sam study hard for the test

Phrases such as together with"," as well as, accompanied by and along with do not affect the actual number of the subject before them. In this case ,the verb will agree with the main subject before these phrases.
2b)

Jim, together with his sister, is leaving for Korea. The manager, as well as the employees, has to go for the blood test. The President ,as well as, his ministers has agreed to go ahead with the plans.

Exercise 1 1.The hungry farmer sell/sells all his goats so that his children do/does not have to starve. 2.Every year towns near the Perak river is/are affected by the floods and the villagers move/moves to higher grounds. Last year an old man trapped in his house was/were rescued by the police. 3. The captain and his officers steer/steers the Titanic away from the rocks; but unfortunately the ship is/are hit by a floating iceberg. The captain advise/advises his crew to abandon the ship.

3 a) A singular verb is used with a subject after neither and either

e.g. Neither of the two traffic lights is working


Either dress is fine with me.

3b) When 2 subjects are joined by eitheror / neithernor / not onlybut also, the verb agrees with the subject closest to it.
e.g. Neither Lisa nor her sister is interested.

Neither Lisa nor her sisters are interested, Not only the students but also the lecturer has to be early for class on a Saturday morning

4.a) The indefinite pronouns such as anyone anybody, someone, somebody, none, anything, everybody, every one, no one , nobody, nothing require singular verbs

Everyone likes durians Someone has taken my dictionary None of the students has done the assignments

4.b)When subjects follow each , every and one of, a singular verb is used

Every boy and every girl has to pay for the entrance ticket Each of the student is responsible for the success or failure of the vent.

4.c) The indefinite pronouns such as all and some" can be singular or plural depending on whether they are referring to countable or uncountable nouns.

Some of the umbrellas are missing Some of the rice is stale

4d) When the subjects are separated by all but and bothand, a plural verb is used

All but the lecturer have left the lecture hall. Both Melissa and Pauline enjoy singing and dancing

Exercise 2 1.There is/are a fly in my soup. 2.No one is/are permitted to borrow the books on display. 3.There is/are flowers growing on the slope of the hill. No one is/are allowed to pick them. 4.Somebody do/does not want me to win the race. 5.Every child want/wants to ride the merry-go-round. 6.There is/are a road race organized by the Star newspaper every year.

Exercise 3 1.Both Salman and Mei Ling is/are in the final round. 2.Either the cats or the dog has/have to go. 3.A few fishing villages was/were swept away by the gigantic waves. 4.The wedding will be delayed if neither the bride nor the groom speak/speaks English. 5.Several thousand birds was/were released during the festivities.

5.a)When 2 singular subject refer to the same person or thing, a singular verb is used

My good friend and neighbour, is a musician Ryan, my supervisor and mentor, teaches me how to be a good technician.

5.b)When 2 subjects are used to express one idea, a singular verb is used

Bread and butter is all I take for breakfast The horse and carriage is beautifully decorated

6.When there and here are used, the verb agrees with the subject that follows.

Here is your shirt Here are your shirts There is your file Here are the books you asked for

7.a)A collective noun takes a singular verb when it is used to mean a group

The team wins all the competition. The committee has not decided where to hold the camp.

7.b)A collective noun takes a plural verb when it is used to refer to the members in a group
The committee members cast their votes The team members are working hard for the competition The audience were told to keep silent when the dancer made her entrance

8.Words such as glasses"," trousers pants", " scissors are regarded as plural unless they are used with the phrase a pair of

My glasses are missing. Now I cant see anything. Toms trousers were torn by the bikes peddles. The pair of pants that was stolen was found in the trash can.

9. Unit of money/time/distance singular before verb


BUT plural after verb (usual case).

Eight hours is the standard working duration per day. There are eight more hours of work to be completed. He says one million ringgit is nothing to him. There are one hundred dollars inside his pocket.
Two kilometres is a short distance to run. There are two kilometres more ahead of us.

10.a) Some words end in s but are singular in meaning. In this case a singular verb is used
- subjects of study (e.g. statistics/ physics/ mathematics) - activities (e.g. aerobics /gymnastics/athletics) - diseases (e.g. mumps / measles) - nouns (e.g. news / comics) Example: Physics bores me to death Statistics is a difficult subject to handle. The good news has been told to the public

10b)Some nouns are singular in form but plural in meaning. In this case, a plural verb is used.

The police have caught the culprit. Poultry continue to rise during festive seasons.

10c)Some words indicate plurality. In this case a plural verb is used


- both, several, many, few, others, people e.g. Several victims have died in the crash. Many students are feeling hungry right now

11.Fractions / Percentages usually follow the noun


e.g. Two-thirds of this building has already been constructed. Two-thirds of UTAR students are Chinese. Fifty percent of the furniture needs to be sold. Fifty percent of the car parts are imported.

12 a) When the nouns referring to nationality, a plural verb is used


e.g. The French do not like the British due to past history.

13 b) When nouns refer to a language, a


singular verb is used e.g. French is an easy language to learn.

Exercise 4 1.Physics is/are a compulsory subject for engineering students. 2.The annual athletics meet is/are held in the stadium. 3.Comics encourage/encourages children to read. 4.Gymnastics has/have always been popular among young people in Russia 5. The Expo draw/draws a large crowd every year 6. The Science club want /wants to tour Europe

Exercise 7. The Chelsea team always throw/throws their jerseys at the spectators when they win a game 8. Fifty rupee is/are the most a waiter would get in India. 9.There is/are just 2 kilometers more for the competitors to complete the marathon. 10. The Expo draw/draws a large crowd every year. 11. There is/are 10 minutes left for the end of the test.