So, lets start now!!
One of the most common grammatical problems is failure to make the subject and verb agree with each other in a sentence. Verb should always agree with the subject. So, there are some set of rules which must be followed in order to frame a correct sentence.
The basic fundamental behind every sentence is same i.e. Single subjects take singular verbs. Plural subjects take plural verbs.
Single subjects take singular verbs. Plural subjects take plural verbs.
Singular words means there is only one person or thing.
The bell rings. Amitabh plays.
Plural words mean to be more than one person or thing.
The bells ring. Amitabh and his brother play.
But there are some special cases as well. So, we are providing here some rules which will help you to place correct verb with the different subjects. We will be learning here 5 rules everyday in order to master the topics and so that they do not get messed up.
1. Multiple subjects that are joined by “or,” “either – or,” “neither – nor,” “not – but”
The verb agrees in number with the nearest subject i.e.
(a) If the subject nearest to the verb is singular, the verb will be singular,
(b) If the subject nearest to the verb is plural, the verb will be plural too.
Neither the President nor the Cabinet Ministers are responsible.
Neither the Cabinet Ministers nor the President is responsible.
Neither of the two traffic lights is working.
2. Subjects that look plural but really they aren’t
There are some phrases like “with”, “like”, “as well as”, “together with”, “in addition to”, “along with”, “including” which one may think to be plural. But THEY ARE NOT PLURAL!
These phrases are not part of the subject of the sentence. If you observe carefully, they do not affect the verb.
Singular: My English teacher, as well as my counselor, has advised me to be calm.
Plural: All of my courses, including Maths, are easier this semester.
3. Indefinite Pronoun words that end in “one,” “thing,” or “body” like “everybody”, “anybody”, “somebody”, “nobody”, “everything”, “anything”, “something”, “nothing”, “everyone”, “anyone”, “someone”, “no one” ——– these are always singular and hence will use singular form of verb.
Everyone who went to IITs is an engineer now.
4. Some indefinite pronouns — like all, some, none — are singular or plural depending on what they’re referring to. One has to be careful choosing a verb to accompany such pronouns.
Some of the diamonds are missing.
Some of the water is gone.
None of you claims responsibility for this mistake?
None of you claim responsibility for this mistake?
None of the students have done their homework.
5. The words “each,” “either (of),” “neither (of)” – When these words are used as a subject then singular verb is used for them.
Neither of the offices is open after six o’clock.
We will learn some more rules of ‘Subject Verb Agreement’ tomorrow!
Till then, study well!