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Subject-Verb

Agreement
Several exercises are
prepared for you to enhance
your knowledge and skills on
Subject-Verb Agreement so
you can compose clear and
coherent sentences
Let’s
Learn
This
Task 1: Circles, Boxes, and
Arrows
With your partner, read the
following sentences. Encircle
the subjects and box the verbs.
Then, make an arrow from the
verb to its subject.
Let’s Try This
1. An urban habitat refers to areas
dominated by human activities.

2. Nowadays, an urban habitat is


already a home to many animals.

3. Birds like pigeons nest on tall


buildings.
4. Mice and rats build their habitats
inside or near houses.

5. Perhaps, the favorite city animals


live in the homes of people - cats,
dogs, and other pets.
Task 2: Sharing Insights
Answer the following questions:
 What is the subject and the verb in the
first sentence? second sentence? third
sentence? fourth sentence? fifth sentence?
 How do we form singular and plural
subject? verb?
 Are you familiar with the rules on
subject-verb agreement? Can you cite
some?
Let’s Study This
SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
Basic Rule
The basic rule in subject-verb agreement states
that a singular subject takes a singular verb,
while a plural subject takes a plural verb.
Hint: Verbs that end with s are singular.
Verbs do not form their plurals by adding an s
as nouns do. In order to determine which verb
is singular and which one is plural, think of
which verb you would use with he or she and
which verb you would use with they.
Example:
talks, talk
Which one is the singular form?
Which word would you use with he?
We say, "He talks." Therefore, talks
is singular.
We say, "They talk." Therefore, talk
is plural.
RULES
IN
SUBJECT-VERB
AGREEMENT
1. General Rule:
A singular subject takes a
singular verb. A plural subject
takes a plural verb.

e.g. Ann always tells the truth.


We are ready for lunch now .
2. Intervening words & phrases:
A phrase or clause that interrupts a subject and
its verb does not affect the subject verb
agreement (of phrases, together with, as well
as, with, in addition to, accompanied by, etc.)
e.g. The captain of the guards stands at
attention.
The troopers whom the captain put in charge
of the roadblock stand on either side.
The teacher, together with her students, visits
the library.
COMPOUND SUBJECTS
3. Two or more singular subjects
joined by or or nor must have a
singular verb.
e.g. Beth or Sam is going to win.
4. Two or more plural subjects joined
by or or nor must have a plural verb.
e.g. The girls or the boys are going to
win.
5. If one or more singular subjects are
joined to one or more plural subjects by
or or nor, the subject closest to the verb
determines the agreement.
The verb in an or, either-or, or neither-
nor sentence agrees with the noun or
pronoun closest to it.
e.g. Beth, Sam, or the twins are going to
win.
Either the twins or Sam is going to win.
6. A compound subject joined by and
is generally plural and must have a
plural verb.
e.g. Jenny and Rose are going to
New York.
The boys and the girls perform on
stage.
Exceptions:
If the parts of the compound subject are
thought of as one item, then a singular verb
is needed.
e.g. Bacon and eggs is my favorite
breakfast.
A singular verb is also needed if the word
every and each precedes a compound
subject.
e.g. Every boy and girl in the class does
volunteer work.
CONFUSING SUBJECTS
7. Hard to Find Subjects: A
subject that comes after its verb
must still agree with it in number.
Inverted Sentence:
Under the table is the cat.
On top of the hill are two tractors
.
Sentences with “Here” and
“There”:
There is only one orange in the
basket.
There are many projects to be made.
Here is a box of chocolate cake.
Here are my friends from the
province.
8. Subjects of Linking Verbs: A
linking verb must agree with its
subject regardless of the number of
its predicative nominative.
e.g. Speeding cars are one reason
for the high accident rate.
9. Collective Nouns: A collective
noun takes a singular verb when the
group it names acts as a single unit.
It takes the plural verb when the
group it names acts as individuals
with different points of view.
e.g. The jury orders a verdict.
The committee disagree on the
issue.
10. Plural-Looking Nouns: Nouns
that are plural in form but singular in
meaning agree with singular verbs.
(news, measles, Mathematics,
Physics, ethics, Social Studies)
e.g. Mathematics becomes my
favorite subject.
Measles is a dangerous disease for
unborn children.
11. Indefinite Pronouns: Singular
indefinite pronouns take singular
verbs. Plural indefinite pronouns
take plural verbs.
e.g. One of the paintings is missing.
Everyone is going to the trip.
Either of your plans is acceptable to
me.
Both of the players were late.
The pronouns all, any, more,
most, and some usually take a
singular verb if the antecedent is
singular and a plural verb if it is
plural.
e.g. All of the soup is eaten.
All of the seats were taken.
12. Titles: A title of the book, story,
novel, literature, or any work of art is
considered singular and takes a
singular verb.
e.g. Wuthering Heights is a novel by
Emily Bronte.
The Last Leaf is written by O. Henry.
13. Amounts and Measurements: A
noun expressing an amount or
measurement is usually singular and
requires a singular verb.
e.g. Fifty pesos is more than enough.
40 feet is the length of the room.
10 kilometers is the distance of this
school to
his house.
14. In a sentence with a fraction
and an “of-phrase” before the
verb, the verb agrees with the
object of the preposition.
e.g. Half of the cupcakes are
eaten.
Three fourth of the crop is rotten .
MISCELLANEOUS RULES
15. The pronoun “You” always takes
the plural verb.
e.g. You are the best in the class.
16. Clausal subjects are singular
even if the nouns referred to are
plural.
e.g. What we need is more
reference books.
17. With “a number of” as a subject,
use a plural verb. With “the number of”
as a subject, use a singular verb.
e.g. A number of students take the
exam.
The number of students is 60.
18. With “none” as a subject, use a
singular verb.
e.g. None of the magazines is here.
19. Subject nouns which are derived from
adjectives and describe people take plural
verbs.
e.g. The rich are in favor of the tax cut.
The poor need the help of the government.
20. For items that have two parts, when the
word pair is used, the verb is singular. But
without the word pair, the verb is plural.
(scissors, tongs, trousers, pants)
e.g. My scissors are lost.
Let’s
Do
This
Task 3: Oral Drill
Identify the subject in each sentence and
tell whether it is singular or plural. Then
choose the correct verb inside the
parenthesis to make the statement correct.
Example: The survey covering seven
schools (reveal, reveals) a growth in
enrollment.
Subject: The survey Form: singular
Verb: reveals
1. My sister and my brother (lives, live) in Davao City.
2. Either the man or his friends (knows, know) the
answer.
3. Three weeks (is, are) a long time.
4. The news (surprise, surprises) me today.
5. Each student and teacher (was, were) aware of the
difficulty.
6. A car and a bike (is, are) my means of transportation.
7. My aunt or my uncle (is, are) arriving at the airport.
8. Neither Jenny nor the others (is, are) available.
9. The serving bowl or the plates (go, goes) on that
shelf.
10. Each of the students (read, reads) well.
Task 4: Choosy Me!
Choose the correct form of the verb in each
of the following sentence.
1. Everyone _____ happy and contented.
A. looks B. look
2. The number of chopper crashes _____
clamming.
A. is B. are
3. My friend and classmate _____ left for
abroad.
A. has B. have
4. Ten months _____ long enough for
the physician to detect care-giving
tendency of a nurse.
A are B. is
5. Both _____ good in English.
A. are B. is
6. The teachers, as well as the
principal, _____ for vacation.
A. has gone B. have gone
7. Either I or you _____ going to represent the
school.
A. are B. is
8. Three-fourths (3/4) of the workers _____
working visa abroad.
A. has B. have
9. His favorite food ____ ham and sandwich.
A. is B. are
10. Tongs ____ what I need to pick up the hot
fried chicken.
A. is B. are
11. The hopeless _____ immediate counselling.
A. need B. needs
12. None of the pupils ____ to be late in the class
this morning.
A. appear B. appears
13. Androcles and the Lion _____ written by
Aesop.
A. is B. are
14. Several people _____ the earthquake drill.
A. observe B. observes
15. On top of the mountain _____ the wild animals.
A. is B. are
Let’s
Do
More
Task 5: Compose Our Own
Work with your partner and compose your own
sentences using the following subjects. Be sure to
observe rules in subject-verb agreement to compose
clear and coherent sentences. Present your work in the
class.
1. The Philippines ________________________.
2. Filipinos ______________________________.
3. One of the Filipino traditions ______________.
4. Either sinigang or adobo _________________.
5. What make us proud as Filipinos ___________.