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English Grammar : Subject verb Agreement – 1

As we know that the subject and the verb are the essential parts of a sentence. It is imperative that the verb agree with the subject in number and person. So, here, we are providing you important rules of subject-verb agreement.

Rule 9:When the sentence begins with ‘there’ or ‘Interrogative pronoun’ then the verb is according to the predicate. If the predicate subject is plural then the verb used is plural and if subject is singular then the verb used is singular.

Ex – a) There was a boy and a teacher in the school. (Wrong)

There were a boy and a teacher in the school. (Right)

  1. b) There was a boy in the classroom. (Right)
  2. c) What has the boys though about this plan? (Wrong)

What havethe boys though about this plan? (Right)

Rule 10:When connectors like ‘who/which/that’ are used in the sentence then the verb used is according to the antecedent (noun before connector).

Ex – Milton was one of the best poets that has ever lived. (Wrong)

Milton was one of the best poets that have ever lived. (Right)

Rule 11:In the case of ‘variety, plenty, deal of, a lot of(lots of), a heap of, Two thirds of, most of, some of, a half of, percent of’, a singular or a plural verb is used according to the noun that comes.

Ex – a) Plenty of milk is available in this part of the country. (Right)

Plenty of books were donated to the library by him.  (Right)

  1. b) Two thirds of the businessmen are (Right)

Two thirds of the book is easy to read. (Right)

Rule 12:When the sentence is started with ‘a number of’ then the noun, pronoun and the verb used are singular. And in the case of ‘the number of’, the noun and pronoun used are plural but the verb used is singular.

Ex – a) A number of students is present in the class. (Wrong)

A number of students arepresent in the class. (Right)

  1. b) The number of students have increased in our college this year. (Wrong)

The number of students has increased in our college this year. (Right)

Rule 13: A singular verb is used with the collective nouns when they denote unity/ a group ‘A set of books, a pair of spectacles, a bouquet of flowers, a kind of, a series of events’ etc.

Ex – A pair of spectacles is broken. (Right)

Rule 14: When ‘Jury, committee, cabinet, team etc.’ works in a one unit then verb used is singular. In the case, when they are divided in their opinions then the verb used is plural.

Ex – Jury has given its verdict unanimously. (Right)

In regard to details committee were divided. (Right)

Rule 15:‘Scenery, information, furniture, poetry etc.’ used as a singular nouns. So it takes singular verb.

Ex –a) Your information were not true. (Wrong)

Your information was not true. (Right)

  1. b) The scenery of Darjeeling is very beautiful. (Right)

Rule 16:News, Mathematics etc.’ takes singular verb. And ‘people, cattle etc.’ takes plural verb.

Ex- a) This news is correct. (Right)

  1. b) Mathematics is a scoring subject. (Right)
  2. c) People were not happy with the BJP government. (Right)
  3. d) The cattle are grazing in the field. (Right)

Rule 17: If ‘somebody, nobody, everybody, anyone, nothing, everything, someone etc.’ used in the sentence then the verb used after this is singular.

Ex – When we reached there nobody were in the house. (Wrong)

When we reached there nobody was in the house. (Right)

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