Somak Chatterjee | March 5th, 2013 at 10:01pm
A singular subject demands a singular verb. Also, a plural subject demands a plural verb. That is the simple rule which needs to be kept in mind in Subject-verb Agreement.
- Indefinite pronouns such as everyone and everybody might appear to be plural to few, but they are always singular – and thus take a singular verb. For example:
- Someone has to take a decision.
- Everybody is held responsible.
- Do not get confused by phrases that come between the subject pronoun and its verb- phrases that may contain plural words.
- Each of the team members in the activity is responsible for writing a team report. For example:
- Everyone in the entire community is silent on the notion of child marriage.
- The verb that accompanies pronouns such as all and some will be determined by whether the pronoun is referring to something that is countable or not. For example:
- Some of the students in the canteen are singing.
- All the clothes are wet.
- Some of the grain was ruined.
- Some of the things which need to be taken care of.
- None usually seems singular but can be used as a plural pronoun too. The singular verb form is used when “none” means “no one” or “not one”. The plural is used when “none” implies more than one thing or person. For example:
- None of us thinks what she said is correct.
- None of the local teams are making it to the second round in the tournament.
- Phrases such as together with, along with, as well as seem to join two subjects. However, they do not work the same as ‘and’; they do not work as a conjunction. For example:
- Some of the notes of the classroom, as well as some from the textbooks, have helped me in my exams.
- Some of my friends, along with their parents, want to visit the Orange festival.
- When either or neither is used as a subject alone, they are singular. This holds true even though the subject seems to be two things.
- I don’t have any preference between Chocolate and Black Current. Either is fine with me.
- Neither of these solutions is correct.
- When either or neither act as correlative conjunctions, the subject that is closer to the verb determines the number of verb, being singular or plural.
- Neither the principal nor the students are to be blamed.
- Either the students or the class monitor has to bear the responsibility.
The topic subject-verb agreement, no doubt, poses challenge before the students. However, we hope that having gone through this article you have gained insight and confidence over the same which will help you score good marks in the exam.
Wishing you all the very best