Is, or are? Go, or goes? whether a verb is singular or plural depends on any kind of one the a complex set that factors. Here is a roster that rules for subject-verb covenant (or “Here space some rule . . .”):

1. Usage verbs the agree v a subject, not v a noun that is component of a editing phrase or clause in between verb and subject:

“The pot of egg is cook on the stove.”

2. Use singular or plural verbs the agree through the subject, not v the complement of the subject:

“My favorite kind of movie is comedies,” however “Comedies are my favorite type of movie.”

3. Usage singular verbs with singular indefinite pronouns — each, the “-bodies,” “-ones,” and “-things” (anybody, everyone, nothing), and the like:

“Neither is correct.” (And, simply as in dominion number 1, the visibility of a comprehensive is irrelevant: “Neither of them is correct.”)

4. Use plural verbs with plural unknown pronouns:

“Many outcomes are possible.”

5. Use singular verbs v uncountable nouns the follow an unknown pronoun:

“All the paint is dried up.”

6. Use plural verbs with countable nouns that follow an indefinite pronoun:

“All the nails are spilled on the floor.”

7. Usage plural verbs v compound subjects that include and:

“The dog and also the cat are outside.”

8. Usage plural verb or singular verbs, relying on the kind of the noun nearest the verb, with compound topics that include nor or or:

“Either the dog or the cats are responsible because that the mess.” (“Either the cat or the dog is responsible for the mess” is additionally technically correct yet is awkward.)

9. Usage singular verbs through inverted topics that incorporate singular nouns:

“Why is my hat outside in the rain?”

10. Use plural verbs through inverted subjects (those beginning with the expletive there fairly than the actual subject) that encompass plural nouns:

“There are several hats exterior in the rain.”

11. Usage singular or plural verb with collective nouns relying on meaning:

“His staff is assembled,” yet “Staff are request to go to the conference room immediately.” (In the first sentence, the focus is top top the body of employees; in the 2nd sentence, the emphasis is on compliance by each individual in the human body of employees.)

12. Use singular verbs for designations of entities, such as nations or organizations, or compositions, such as books or films:

“The United nations is headquartered in brand-new York.”

13. Usage singular verbs for subjects plural in type but singular in meaning:

“Physics is my favorite subject.”

14. Use singular or plural verbs for subjects plural in form but plural or singular in meaning depending on the context:

“The economics of the case are complicated,” but “Economics is a complicated topic.”

15. Usage plural verbs for subjects plural in type and meaning:

“The tweezers are in the cupboard.”

16. Usage plural verb in build of the type “one that those (blank) that . . .”:

“I am one of those eccentrics that do no tweet.”

17. Use singular verbs in constructions of the form “the only among those (blank) who . . .”:

“I am the only among my friends that does no tweet.”

18. Usage singular verb in build of the kind “the variety of (blank) . . .”:

“The variety of people below boggles the mind.”

19. Usage plural verb in build of the kind “a number of (blank) . . .”:

“A number of people here disagree.”

20. Use singular verb in construction of the forms “every (blank) . . .” and “many a (blank) .


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. .”:

“Every good boy does fine”; “Many a true word is spoken in jest.”

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21 Responses to “20 Rules around Subject-Verb Agreement”

Danon April 05, 2012 6:30 am

Subject–verb (en dash) agreement, surely.