Subject-Verb Agreement Rules
Let’s explore a series of subject-verb agreement rules required to ace questions based on Sentence Correction.
RULE 1: When two subjects are joined by ‘and’, the verb is plural.
For example: My friend and his mother are in town.
RULE 2: When two singular nouns joined by ‘and’ refer to the same person or thing, the verb is singular.
For example: The captain and coach of the team has been sacked.
In case these were two different individuals, two articles need to be used: The captain and the coach of the team have been sacked.
RULE 3: Indefinite pronouns (everyone, each one, someone, somebody, no one, nobody, anyone, anybody etc.) are always singular.
For example: Everyone is selfish.
We do not use 'are' in this sentence.
This rule does not apply to: few, many, several, both, all, some.
RULE 4: When the percentage or a part of something is mentioned with plural meaning the plural verb is used.
For example: 40 of every 100 children are malnourished.
RULE 5: When the subjects joined by ‘either or’ or ‘neither nor’ are of different persons, the verb will agree in person and number with the noun nearest to it.
For example: Neither you nor your dogs know how to behave.
Either of the books is fine for MAT preparation.
Always remember that, when either and neither are used as pronouns, they are treated as singular and always take the singular verb.
RULE 6: If connectives/appositives like along with, together with, as well as, accompanied by etc. are used to combine two subjects, the verb agrees with the subject mentioned first.
For example: Mr. Ram, accompanied by his wife Sita and his brother, was banished to the forest.
RULE 7: A number of/ the number or
‘A number of (some countable noun)’ is always plural. ‘The number of (some countable noun)’ is always singular.
For example: A number of students are going on the trip.
RULE 8: The singular verb form is usually used for units of measurement or time.
For example: Five gallons of oil was required to get the engine running.
RULE 9: When any of ‘few, many, several, both, all, some’ is used with a countable noun, the verb is plural.
For example: Some men are needed for the battle.
RULE 10: When any of ‘few, many, several, both, all, some’ is used with an uncountable noun, the verb is singular.
Sentence Correction: Concepts & Rules
Basics of Sentence Correction
Subject Verb Agreement - 1
Sentence Correction Exercise
Subject Verb Agreement - 2
Subject-Verb Agreement Exercise
being able to find the right subject and verb will help you correct errors of subject-verb agreement. some rules are that a subject will come before a phrase beginning with of. this is a key rule for understanding subjects. the word of is the culprit in many, perhaps most, subject-verb mistakes. second two singular subjects connected by or, either/or, or neither/nor require a singular verb. thirdly the verb in an or, either/or, or neither/nor sentence agrees with the noun or pronoun closest to it. fourth as a general rule, use a plural verb with two or more subjects when they are connected by and.
rule 1.)incorrect: a bouquet of yellow roses lend color and fragrance to the room.
correct: a bouquet of yellow roses lends . . (bouquet lends, not roses lend)
rule 2.)my aunt or my uncle is arriving by train today.
neither juan nor carmen is available.
rule 3.)neither the plates nor the serving bowl goes on that shelf.
neither the serving bowl nor the plates go on that shelf.
rule 4.)a car and a bike are my means of transportation.