Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-Verb Agreement :

We have seen earlier how the verb changes according to the subject. Let us quickly revise the various rules of subject-verb agreement.

We use a plural verb when the subject of a sentence has two or more nouns or pronouns connected by AND.

For example :

Onions and potatoes are root vegetables.

We use a singular verb when two or more singular nouns or pronouns are connected by OR or NOR.

For example :

Mitali or Virali is baking a cake today

We use a singular verb with the words each, each one, either, neither, everyone, everybody, anybody, anyone, nobody, somebody, someone, and no one.

For example :

Each of these soldiers is highly trained in combat.

We use a plural verb with nouns such as scissors, tweezers, trousers and shears. There are two parts to these things.

For example :

These shears are really big.

A collective noun can take either a singular or a plural verb depending on the context.

It takes a singular verb when the noun is considered as a single unit.

For example :

This choir of singers is very melodious.

It takes a plural verb when the components of noun are considered individually.

For example :

The board of directors are divided on the implementation of the reforms.

The committee have issued individual dissenting notes.

We use a singular verb with words like neither...nor, either...or.

For example :

Neither the mother nor the grandmother is as talented in music as Vinita.

When two subjects are joined by ‘as well as’, ‘with’, ‘along with’ the verb agrees with the first subject.

For example :

The child, as well as his parents, was present at the annual day programme.

In this sentence, ‘The child’ is a singular subject.

Hence the verb is also singular - was present.

The children, as well as their parents, were present at the annual day programme.

In this sentence, ‘The children’ is a plural subject.

Hence the verb is also plural - were present.

If a plural noun is a proper name, then it takes a singular verb.

For example :

LITTLE WOMEN is a very interesting book.

With words that indicate portions - percent, fraction, part, majority, some, all, none, remainder, and so on, look at the noun in your ‘of’ phrase (object of the preposition) to determine whether to use a singular or plural verb. If the object of the preposition is singular, use a singular verb. If the object of the preposition is plural, use a plural verb.

For example :

Fifty percent students have completed the assignment.

In this sentence, STUDENTS is the object of the preposition OF.

Related Pages :

  1. Sentences with Subject-Verb Agreement
  2. Subject-Verb Agreement
  3. Subject and Verb Agreement - 2


  1. The Verb
  2. The Auxiliary Verbs
  3. Subject-Verb Agreement - 1
  4. Subject-Verb Agreement - 2
  5. The English Verb
  6. Basic Form of The Verb
  7. Principal Parts of A Verb
  8. Non-finite Form of The Verb
  9. The Intensive Forms of English Verbs
  10. Verbal Idioms
  11. Confusing Verbs
  12. Agreement of The Verb with The Subject
  13. Sentences with Agreement of The Verb with The Subject
  14. Two Auxiliaries with One Principal Verb
  15. One Auxiliary with Two Principal Verbs
  16. Words Used as Verbs
  17. Intransitive Verb of Complete Predication
  18. Intransitive Verb of Incomplete Predication
  19. Defective Verbs
  20. Strong Verbs
  21. Tests of A Strong Verb
  22. Wholly Strong Strong Verbs
  23. Partly Strong Strong Verbs
  24. List of Strong Verbs
  25. Weak Verbs
  26. Tests of A Weak Verb
  27. List of Weak Verbs
  28. Mixed Verbs
  29. Strong Verbs Becoming Partly Weak Verbs

Subject-Verb Agreement

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