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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Subject-verb agreement (With example)

SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
Just as pronouns must agree with their antecedents in person, case, and number, verbs also must agree with their subjects in person and in number.
The first person subject is the person or persons speaking in a sentence (I, we). The second person subject is the person or persons addressed (you, you). The third person subject refers to the person or thing spoken about and may be any noun or third-person (he, she, it, they).
Verbs agree with their subjects in number. Therefore, a singular subject takes a singular verb; a plural subject takes a plural verb.
FORMULA:
Singular Subject + Singular Verb (s/es/ies)
Plural Subject + Plural Verb
Example:
- The window is open.
- Many computers are innovated from day to day.
- Some companies need a manager who has multiple skills.
- A child cries for ice-cream.
NOTE: Verbs have an opposite rule if we compare to nouns. Nouns always change their form when they are plural and keep the same form when they are singular. But for verbs, they always change their form when they are singular and keep the same form when they are plural.
Compare:
- A cat eats grilled fish. (cat is singular noun, eats is singular verb)
- Too many people want to visit Angkor Wat. (people is plural noun, want is plural verb)
WARNING: Mistakes in subject-verb agreement are sometimes made in the following situations:
1) When words come between the subject and the verb
2) When a verb comes before the subject
3) With indefinite pronouns
4) With compound subjects
5) With who, which, and that
1) Words between the subject and the verb
Words that come between the subject and the verb do not change subject-verb agreement.
Example: One of the crooked politicians was jailed for a month.
2) Verb before the subject
A verb agrees with its subject even when the verb comes before the subject.
Example: Lumbering along the road were six heavy trucks.
3) Indefinite pronouns
The following words, know as indefinite pronouns, always take singular verbs.
One Word
Body Word
Thing Word
one
anyone
everyone
someone
nobody
anybody
everybody
somebody
nothing
anything
everything
something
each
either
neither
Example: Everyone keeps silent when the teacher arrives.
NOTE: Both always takes a plural verb.
Example:
- Neither of those last two books on the list is required for the course.
- Both of these belts no longer fit.
- Each of these children needs to be inoculated against polio.
4) Compound subjects
Subjects joined by and generally take a plural verb.
Example: Ambition and good luck are the keys to his success.
NOTE: When subjects are joined by either ..or/neither …or, not only …but also, the verb agrees with the subject closer to the verb.
Example: Neither the plumber not his helpers work on weekends.
5) Who, which, and that:
ç Who, which or that standing for a singular noun takes a singular verb.
Example:
- A student who studies English at NIS is Mr. Sokha’s son.
- A sharp pain that begins in the lower abdomen may signal appendicitis.
ç Who, which or that standing for a plural noun takes a plural verb.
Example:
- Animals which were arrested in the forest are in the zoo now.
- The heavy trucks that thunder past my Honda make me feel as though I’m being blown off the road.SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
Just as pronouns must agree with their antecedents in person, case, and number, verbs also must agree with their subjects in person and in number.
The first person subject is the person or persons speaking in a sentence (I, we). The second person subject is the person or persons addressed (you, you). The third person subject refers to the person or thing spoken about and may be any noun or third-person (he, she, it, they).
Verbs agree with their subjects in number. Therefore, a singular subject takes a singular verb; a plural subject takes a plural verb.
FORMULA:
Singular Subject + Singular Verb (s/es/ies)
Plural Subject + Plural Verb
Example:
- The window is open.
- Many computers are innovated from day to day.
- Some companies need a manager who has multiple skills.
- A child cries for ice-cream.
NOTE: Verbs have an opposite rule if we compare to nouns. Nouns always change their form when they are plural and keep the same form when they are singular. But for verbs, they always change their form when they are singular and keep the same form when they are plural.
Compare:
- A cat eats grilled fish. (cat is singular noun, eats is singular verb)
- Too many people want to visit Angkor Wat. (people is plural noun, want is plural verb)
WARNING: Mistakes in subject-verb agreement are sometimes made in the following situations:
1) When words come between the subject and the verb
2) When a verb comes before the subject
3) With indefinite pronouns
4) With compound subjects
5) With who, which, and that
1) Words between the subject and the verb
Words that come between the subject and the verb do not change subject-verb agreement.
Example: One of the crooked politicians was jailed for a month.
2) Verb before the subject
A verb agrees with its subject even when the verb comes before the subject.
Example: Lumbering along the road were six heavy trucks.
3) Indefinite pronouns
The following words, know as indefinite pronouns, always take singular verbs.
One Word
Body Word
Thing Word
one
anyone
everyone
someone
nobody
anybody
everybody
somebody
nothing
anything
everything
something
each
either
neither
Example: Everyone keeps silent when the teacher arrives.
NOTE: Both always takes a plural verb.
Example:
- Neither of those last two books on the list is required for the course.
- Both of these belts no longer fit.
- Each of these children needs to be inoculated against polio.
4) Compound subjects
Subjects joined by and generally take a plural verb.
Example: Ambition and good luck are the keys to his success.
NOTE: When subjects are joined by either ..or/neither …or, not only …but also, the verb agrees with the subject closer to the verb.
Example: Neither the plumber not his helpers work on weekends.
5) Who, which, and that:
ç Who, which or that standing for a singular noun takes a singular verb.
Example:
- A student who studies English at NIS is Mr. Sokha’s son.
- A sharp pain that begins in the lower abdomen may signal appendicitis.
ç Who, which or that standing for a plural noun takes a plural verb.
Example:
- Animals which were arrested in the forest are in the zoo now.
- The heavy trucks that thunder past my Honda make me feel as though I’m being blown off the road.


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