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Transcript
MODULE I
SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
Introduction
A
greement means in union. It could also mean compatibility between
two or more individuals as well as things. In life, we always have an
agreement on things for us to be united. One example is marriage.
Both a man and a woman agree to be married. They have an agreement to love
and cherish each other as well as form a whole peaceful family. Upon having an
agreement, both have the same goal in a sense that they must do whatever the
agreement is, just to live life to the fullest. It is not only happened between people
but also in languages as in English language. The most familiar agreement in
English grammar is the subject-verb agreement.
Objectives
This module intends to let the students:
 learn the rules on subject-verb agreement
 recognize the importance of subject and verb agreement in making
sentences
 Write sentences using the rules of subject-verb agreement
Ask Us
What should be remembered as a general rule?
The use of the simple (plural form) and s-form (singular form) of the verb is
determined by the person and number of the subject. It is therefore necessary that
the subject is properly identified. When the subject in the sentence is in the first
person or in the second person, singular or plural in number, the simple form of the
verb is used. When the subject is in the third person, plural in number, the simple
form of the verb is used. But when it is singular in number, there is a need to use the
s-form of the verb.
1
LESSON I.
RULES ON SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
1. The verb agrees with its subject in person and number.
Examples:
She works hard in order to finish her studies.
The children shout while they play.
2. Words which intervene between subject and verb do not affect the verb.
Examples:
My sister, together with her friends, arrives tonight.
The bus, loaded with boxes of fruits and vegetables, was abandoned in a solitary
road.
3. Make the verb agree with the subject, not with the "of-phrase" (a phrase that begins
with 'of').
Examples:
The bundle of bank notes attracts the driver's attention.
The enticing hands of the demon attract us into a labyrinth of cynical distrust.
4. Sentences in the inverted order where the subject is not in the beginning position, but
comes after the verb, must be properly identified.
Examples:
Down that fearsome desert is a kind person.
There are always great and kind people around us.
5. Generally, compound subjects connected by "and" take the plural form of the verb.
Examples:
Students and teachers need to trust each other.
A change of clothes and a warm bath are all I need.
Note: When the compound subject refers only to one person, thing, or idea, the verb is
singular.
Examples:
The secretary and treasurer of this class is absent.
A bow and arrow makes for a primitive weapon.
2
SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
6. A compound subject involving the use of "each" or "every" requires the s-form of the
verb (singular).
Examples:
Each boy and girl has clothes made of T'boli tinalak.
Every man and woman helps this community become more progressive.
7. Compound subjects joined by "or", "either...or", "neither...nor", or "not only...but also"
agree with the nearer subject.
Examples:
Neither Analyn nor her friends have seen Chocolate Hills.
Either the people or the demon tells lies.
8. A singular verb is used for nouns that are plural in form but singular in meaning.
Examples:
Measles is prevalent in their place nowadays.
Mathematics is a challenging subject.
Note: There are many words ending in "-ics" that may be either singular or plural such as
economics, athletics, critics, politics, etc. These words are singular when they refer to a
school subject, a science, or a general practice. The "his/her", "some", "all" and singular
modifiers do not precede them when they are in singular in meaning.
Examples:
Politics has become a way of life to them. (singular)
His politics are well-known. (plural)
9. Some nouns are plural in form and meaning. These nouns take the simple form of the
verb (plural).
scissors, tongs, shears, pliers, pants, tweezers, refreshments
Examples:
My favorite pants were stolen by thieves last night.
His scissors are used only to cut strings.
10. Fractions may take the singular or the plural form of the verb depending on the ofphrase. If the object of the preposition (of) is singular, the fraction takes the singular form
of the verb; if it is plural, the verb becomes plural in form.
Examples:
One-half of the mangoes are sold.
Three-fourths of the cake is eaten by Hector.
3
SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
11. Words or phrases that express periods of time, weights, measurements, and amounts
of money or taken as a unit are usually regarded as singular.
Examples:
Two kilos of sugar meets our monthly needs.
About 15% of progress is brought about by proper attitude.
Ten days seems extremely long to survive in the desert.
12. Expressions of quantity or amounts that describe individual items rather than whole
units require plural verbs.
Example:
A hundred years have passed since the country gained its independence.
13. Adjectives used as subjects take the plural form of the verb.
Example:
The hardworking are rewarded.
14. Indefinite pronouns
like everyone, anyone, someone, somebody, everybody, one, each one, all (meaning
everything), neither, and either take the singular form of the verbs.
Examples:
Each has his assignment.
Somebody was quick to report the situation to the dean and discipline officer.
Neither of them was pleased.
15. Subjects modified by each, every, neither and either take the singular form of the
verbs.
Examples:
Each student presents his explanation.
Either one has become so defensive.
16. Expressions like many a, more than one, not one take the singular verbs
Examples:
More than one person finds it very interesting.
Many an individual feels happy about the misery of others.
17. The expression the number of takes the singular verb and the expression a number of
takes the plural.
Examples:
The number of cars in the city is increasing so fast that causes traffic.
4
A number of demons tempt good people to do bad things.
SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
18. Many, others, several, few, a few, both and all(referring to people) require the simple
form of the verb (plural).
Examples:
Like the three magi, many follow the star.
All are sure where the star is.
19. A collective noun requires a singular verb when the group is regarded as one unit,
and a plural verb when the individuals in the group act separately.
Examples:
The crew works fast. (one unit)
The crew were very busy working. (separate)
20. A plural verb is used for a relative pronoun referring to a plural antecedent. In other
words, the verb of the relative pronoun depends on its antecedent.
Examples:
Hermanio is a boy who looks good wearing barong tagalog.
Trust is a value that helps us grow better.
21. A clause used as a subject takes the singular verb.
Example:
What you do reflects on you.
22. Some, most and all are singular when they refer to quantity. They are plural when they
refer to number.
Examples:
Some of the electrical appliances are damaged. (number)
Most of the music is difficult to understand. (quantity)
23. The words listed below are mass nouns. They are always singular and cannot be
preceded by a, an or a number. They refer to things difficult to count.
information
homework
personnel
baggage
graft
clothing
chalk
blood
advice
money
mail(letters)
Examples:
Much help is needed.
jewelry
scenery
poetry
help (n.)
soap
5
Poetry is difficult to understand.
SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
Note: When a noun listed above is preceded by pieces of, kinds of, collections of, etc., it
is followed by a plural verb.
Examples:
Many pieces of chalk are in the box.
Rare collections of jewelry are kept in the vault.
24. With nouns always singular in form but either singular or plural in meaning, the verb
agrees with the intended meaning.
Deer
trout
salmon
cattle
sheep
swine
Examples:
Fifty sheep are grazing in the meadow.
One deer, the largest, was saved.
25. Nouns that express abstract ideas are usually singular in form. They require singular
verbs.
Examples:
Pity comes naturally from the forgiving heart.
Courage makes us survive difficult ordeals.
26. The verb agrees with the subject, not with its predicate nominative.
Examples:
Rico's chief interest is rocks and minerals.
Their hobby is writing and collecting antiques.
27. A singular verb is used when the subject is a title of a book, play, story, or musical
composition.
Examples:
The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy.
Trees is a simple, charming poem.
28. Singular verbs are used with mathematical abstractions.
Examples:
6
Four times eight is thirty-two.
Five plus three is eight.
SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
Choose the correct verbs from the options in the parentheses.
1. The heart, although weighing less than 12 ounces, (is, are) a muscle about the
size of a person's fist.
2. The walls of the heart (contract, contracts), forcing blood to rush out.
3. All of the water in the different cans (is, are) contaminated.
4. Some of the delegates (is, are) disappointed over the result of the convention.
5. Down the road (skip, skips) the child.
6. Statistics (provide, provides) the numerical data in question.
7. Refreshments (is, are) now served at the canteen.
8. Rosa and Lynda (is, are) best friends in school.
9. Many a novel (has, have) been written on love.
10. Six plus seven (is, are) thirteen.
11. Many men today (drive, drives) their own cars.
12. My confidant and adviser (is, are) my mother.
13. One of his dogs (has, have) puppies.
14. Three-fourths of the apples (is , are) missing.
15. Many (has, have) tied to break my record.
Do you know?
Person Vs Number
Person refers to the speaker (first person), the one spoken to (second person),
and the one spoken of (third person). It is easy to recognize the subject in
pronouns.
Number refers to the singularity or plurality of a noun. Singular means one while
plural means more than one. Person and number are properties of nouns and
pronouns.
7
SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
LET’S TEST
Write your own sentences using the following subjects. Verb should agrees on its subject
and apply the rules of Subject-Verb Agreement.
1. Peanut butter and jelly
2. Neither of the salesmen
3. Five percent of the profit
4. Annie and her brothers
5. Either my shoes or your coat
6. Mathematics
7. Eight dollars
8. The man with all the birds
8. Everybody
9. Beauty
10. The bedrooms or the kitchen
8
9