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SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT

RULES FOR SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT

RULE 1 – A verb agrees with its subject in number. Singular subjects take singular verbs
RULE 2 – The number of the subject (singular or plural) is not changed by words that come between the subject
and the verb.
RULE 3 – Some subjects always take a singular verb even though the meaning may seem plural. These subjects
always take singular verbs.
RULE 4 – I and YOU although seems singular requires plural form of the verb.
RULE 5 – Subjects joined by and are plural. Subjects joined by or or Nor take a verb that agrees with the last
subject.
RULE 6 – There and here are never subjects. In sentences that begin with these words, the subject is usually
found later on in the sentence.
RULE 7 – Collective nouns may be singular or plural, depending on their use in the sentence.
RULE 8 – Expressions of time, money, measurement, and weight are usually singular when the amount is
considered one unit.
RULE 9 – Some nouns, while plural in form, are actually singular in meaning.
RULE 10 – Don’t and Doesn’t must agree with the subject. Use doesn’t after he, she, it.
RULE 11 – If words each, every and no comes before the subject, the verb is singular.
RULE 12 – If noun or pronoun subjects like some, half, none, more, all etc. are followed by prepositional
phrase, the objects of the preposition determines the form of the verb.
RULE 13 – Indefinite pronouns typically take singular verbs. Except for the pronouns few, many, several, both,
all, some that always take plural form.
RULE 14 – If two infinitives are separated by “and” they take the plural form of the verb.
RULE 15 – When gerunds are used as subject of the sentence they take the singular verb form of the verb, if
they are linked by AND they take plural form.
RULE 16 – Collective nouns like herd, senate, class, crowd etc. usually take a singular verb form.
RULE 17 – Titles of books, movies, novels etc. are treated as singular and take a singular verb.
RULE 18 - The word were replaces was in sentences that express a wish or are contrary to fact.
RULE 19 – Mathematics and News etc. words that end in -s but generally refer as one thing and are, therefore
generally considered singular.
RULE 20 – Remember, only subject affects the verb.

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