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Jane Straus - Subject and Verb Agreement II

Subject and Verb Agreement Part 2

 

GrammarBook

Jane Straus is the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation and developer of GrammarBook.com

Wordplay

Remove one letter from restarted to form a different word. Then repeat the process until you have just one letter remaining. Letters may be removed in any order. The answer is at the end of this blog.

Subject and Verb Agreement

 

Last time, we learned some tricks for subject and verb agreement. As a reminder, verbs do not form their plurals by adding an s as nouns do. In order to distinguish between a singular and a plural verb, think of which verb you would use with he or she and which verb you would use with they.  

 

You would say, "He talks." Therefore, talks is singular. You would say, "They talk." Therefore, talk is plural.

 

Now discover the most common subject and verb agreement errors.

 

Rule 1. The pronouns each, everyone, every one, everybody, anyone, anybody, someone, and somebody are singular and so require singular verbs. Do not be misled by what follows of.  

Examples: Each of the girls sings well. Every one of the cakes is gone.

Tip: Everyone is one word when it means everybody. Every one is two words when the meaning is each one.

 

Rule 2. With words that indicate portions, look at the noun following of (object of the preposition). If the object of the preposition is singular, use a singular verb. If the object of the preposition is plural, use a plural verb.

 

Example: Fifty percent (of the pie) has disappeared.
Pie is the object of the preposition of.

 

Example: Fifty percent (of the pies) have disappeared.
Pies
is the object of the preposition.

 

Example: One-third* (of the city) is unemployed.

 

Example: One-third* (of the people) are unemployed.

 

*Notice that spelled-out fractions are hyphenated.

 

More Examples:

All of the pie is gone.

All of the pies are gone.

Some of the pie is missing.

Some of the pies are missing.

Rule 3. Collective nouns such as team and staff may be either singular or plural depending on their use in the sentence.  

Example: The staff is in a meeting.
Staff is acting as a unit here.

Example: The staff are in disagreement about the findings.
The staff are acting as separate individuals in this example.

The sentence would read even better this way: The staff members are in disagreement about the findings. 

Wordplay

Remove one letter from restarted to form a different word. Then repeat the process until you have just one letter remaining. Letters may be removed in any order.

restarted
restated
restate
estate
state
sate
sat
at
a

JaneStrauss

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IVAN DE LA PAZ
Posts: 11
Comment
THANK U MAIL!!!
Reply #1 on : Tue July 27, 2010, 19:08:43
HI! I JUST WANT TO THANK U FOR THE GREAT GRAMMAR INFORMATION U HAVE ON LINE, IT'S REALLY HELPFUL TO HAVE IT AVAILABLE AND FOR FREE!!!! I'M AN ENGLISH TEACHER IN SOUTHERN BAJA, LA PAZ B.C.S., MEXICO AND I'M GLAD TO USE YOUR PRICELESS HELP.

THANKS AGAIN!!

IVAN DE LA PAZ




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