In order to master Sentence Correction questions, you are required to be aware of the basic rules of Subject-verb Agreement. In this article, you will learn about the concept of subject verb agreement.
What is Subject-Verb Agreement?
A simple subject-verb agreement definition implies that the subject of the sentence and the verb of the sentence must be in agreement in number.
Let’s take an example to understand this concept.
Example 1: The dog is playing with his ball.
In this case, the subject of the sentence is ‘dog’ and the verb used is singular in nature, ‘is playing’.
Example 2: The dogs are playing with their ball.
In this case, the subject of the sentence is ‘dogs’ and the verb used is plural in nature, ‘are playing’.
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.
Sentence Correction: Concepts & Rules
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.
For example: Some milk is spoilt.
Subject-Verb agreement is essential to make sure that a sentence is grammatically correct. Thus, the above ten basic rules can help you to master subject-verb agreement.
Verbal Preparation Series