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Subject-Verb Agreement
 

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Subject-Verb Agreement
Rule: A singular subject takes a singular verb. A plural subject takes a plural verb.
                        My sister practices the guitar everyday.
                        My sisters practice the guitar everyday.
                        Tom drives to school each morning.
                        Tom and Doug drive to school each morning.
 
Rule: If a sentence has a plural subject, but one of the objects is singular, the verb should agree with the subject closest to it.
 
                        Jackie and her dogs go to the park every day.
                        Two cars and an old tractor is in my driveway.
 
A prepositional phrase that interrupts the subject and the predicate does not affect the verb. Only the subject of the sentence controls the verb.
 
                        The doctor, as well as his nurses, attends each meeting.
                        Joe, with his friends, plans to go to the beach on Saturday.
 
Directions: Underline the correct verb.
Example: Neither Mike nor his friends (A. has B. have) seen that movie.
  1. Jane or the twins (A. has B. have) the book.
  2. A bus or several vans (A. is B. are) available for transportation to the game.
  3. Jane or Kathy (A. wants B. want) that sweater.
  4. My brother or my sister (A. has B. have) tickets for the concert.
  5. Phil or his cousins (A. opens B. open) the office each morning.
  6. The school counselor or the teacher (A. is B. are) responsible for the classroom conduct.
  7. The twins or my brother (A. is B. are) going to the game.
  8. A grapefruit or an orange (A. provides B. provide) good vitamin C.
  9. Bill or Bob (A. is B. are) in charge of the decorations for the dance.
  10. The fathers or the mothers (A. is B. are) invited to the school conference on parenting.
 
5. The contractions there’s (there is) and here’s (here is) always take a singular subject.
                        There’s a box in the corner.
                        A box is there in the corner.
                        Here’s your lunch.
                        Your lunch is here.
 
 
 
RULE: Collective nouns name a group.
A collective nountakes a singular verb when the group is acting as one, not individually.
                        My father disagrees with my decision.
A collective noun takes a plural verb when each member of the group acts individually.
My family are working in four kinds of jobs: secretary, lawyer, judge, and teacher
 
Directions: Underline the correct choice.
  1. The team (A. is B. are) arguing among themselves.
  2. The jury (A. renders B. render) its decision.
  3. The faculty (A. votes B. vote) for their representatives.
  4. Our class (A. is b. are) sponsoring a dance.
  5. The jury (A. is B. are) leaving their seats.
  6. The team (A. is B. are) listening to the coach’s pep talk.
  7. The cast of the play (A. is B. are) rehearsing their lines.
  8. The biology class (A. is B. are) going on a field trip.
  9. The committee (A. is B. are) taking their seats.
  10. The school council (A. is B. are) going to the convention. 
 
RULE: Fractions, plenty, majority, remainder, rest, abundance, and portion can be singular or plural depending on the prepositional phrase that modifies them.
                        Two-thirds of the pie was eaten.
 
The complement of the preposition is singular.
                        Two-thirds of the pies were eaten.
 
The complement of the preposition is plural.
                        The majority of the workers are present. (workers are present)
                        The majority of the class is assembled. (class is assembled)
 
Directions: Underline the correct choice.
1. The rest of the material (A. has B. have) been ruined.
  1. The remainder of the fruit (A. was B. were) eaten.
  2. One-fourth of the oranges (A. has B. have) been shipped.
  3. Plenty of jobs (A. is B. are) still needed.
  4. The rest of the material (A. is B. are) up for grabs.
  5. The remainder of the work (A. was B. were) done by the committee.
  6. An abundance of apples (A. was B. were) ruined by water.
  7. A portion of oatmeal (A. was B. were) given to each child.
  8. Two-thirds of the paper (A. was B. were) ruined by water.
  9. There (A. is B. are) plenty of books on display. 

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