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Rules to Follow

For a sentence to be correct, the Subject and the Verb should be in agreement. This agreement is governed by some rules which are as follows:

 

1. If the subject is singular (refers to one person or thing), the verb will be singular
Examples:

  • The girl walks home.
  • He kicks the ball.
  • The dog plays.
 
2. If the subject is plural (refers to more than one person or thing), the verb will be plural
Examples:
  • The students write short essays.
  • The typewriters work well.
  • The children practice cricket after school.

3. The pronouns each, either, neither, one, everyone, no one, nobody, anyone, anybody, someone, everybody, and much are singular and will require a singular verb
Examples:

  • Everyone in the school is going on the trip.
  • Neither teacher plans to cover the entire syllabus.
  • Someone living in our neighborhood isbuilding a new office.

 

4. The pronouns several, few, both, many, and others are plural and require a plural verb.
Examples:
  • Several of his students work in the company.
  • Many girlsstudylong hours.

5. The pronouns some, any, none, all, and most may be either singular or plural.
Examples:

  • Some of the pastry was eaten.
  • All of the candidates were present.
 
6. When a sentence has two or more subjects joined by and, a plural verb is needed.
Examples:
  • Students and teachers park in front of the auditorium.
  • Pizza, cake and ice cream have always been his favorite foods.

7. When a sentence has two or more subjects joined by or ornor, choose a verb that agrees with the subject closest to it.
Examples:

  • Cake or pastries are a good choice for dessert.
  • Neither Nikhil nor his sister likes to travel.

 

8. (i) Collective nouns such as team, family, jury, faculty, and committee are singular when considered as a unit. These will take a singular verb
Examples:
  • My family drives to Noida each summer.
  • The faculty recommends that the new syllabus be approved.
(ii) If individual members or parts of a group are considered separate, a plural verb is needed.
Examples:
  • The cricket team buytheir own costumes.
  • The police wear separate uniforms.

9. When every or many a comes before a subject, the verb should be singular.
Examples:

  • Every man, woman and child remembers that cold winter.
  • Many a woman chooses motherhood over a career.

 

10. There and here are never subjects when they appear at the beginning of a sentence. The subject will come later in the sentence. Make certain to identify the correct word as the subject before choosing a verb.
Examples:
  • There is the jacket I lost.
  • Here are the library books you needed.
Often the subject of a sentence will be delayed. The subject may come after the verb or after a prepositional phrase.
Examples:
  • Through the gate ran the dogs of the police .
  • In the lake swim five large fish.

11. Often the subject of a sentence will be delayed. The subject may come after the verb.
Examples:

  • Through the gate ran the dogs of the police.
  • In the lake swim five large fish.




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