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Grammar Module 7
Subject-verb agreement
Most people with english as a first language
will intuitively select the correct verb agreement,
if they're able to accurately pinpoint the subject and the verb.
And that's really the key here,
selecting the correct subject and verb.
Most people find it easiest to find the verb first
and then to pick out the subject.
In the sentence 'the baby owl will be leaving the comfortable nest soon.'
The verb consists of several words,
which makes it a verb phrase.
'Will be leaving' is the verb in this sentence.
It is then easy to tell who or what will be leaving.
Clearly, the owl will be leaving.
Owl is the simple subject in this sentence.
From now on we will refer to the simple subject.
That is, the subject without any adjectives as the subject.
One of the most common mistakes in selecting the correct subject of a sentence
One of the most common mistakes in selecting the correct subject of a sentence
is taking the noun in a prepositional phrase as the subject.
One of the light bulbs needs changing.
One of the light bulbs needs changing.
In this example there is a prepositional phrase between the subject and the verb.
It is important to ignore the prepositional phrase in order to select the correct subject.
It is important to ignore the prepositional phrase in order to select the correct subject.
If you do not remove the prepositional phrase 'of the light bulbs,'
you might accidentally use the verb 'need' to match the word lightbulbs,
you might accidentally use the verb 'need' to match the word lightbulbs,
instead of the true subject, which is 'one.'
In the second sentence shown,
Everyone except you and me has gone to the party.
The propositional phrase 'except you and me' is crossed off
in order to show the truth subject,
which is 'everyone.'
This requires the singular verb 'has.'
In addition to prepositions, other words can often appear between the subject and the verb
In addition to prepositions, other words can often appear between the subject and the verb
and can interfere with subject verb agreement.
The dresser, along with the two night tables, is for sale.
My neighbour, as well as one of my co-workers,
is interested in the furniture.
The highlighted words are known as intervening words.
These words can be thought of as an interruption to the original thought,
and the verb must agree with the subject of the original thought,
dresser and neighbour, not the interruption.
dresser and neighbour, not the interruption.
The verb is singular in both cases
to match the singular subjects: dresser and neighbour.
If the intervening words are not removed,
the writer might be tempted to incorrectly use the words 'night tables'
or 'co-workers' as the subject
or 'co-workers' as the subject
and then to use the plural verb, 'are,' instead of 'is.'
and then to use the plural verb, 'are,' instead of 'is.'
Other common intervening words to look for include in addition to,
such as,
together with,
or including.
These are often set apart from the rest of the sentence by a pair of commas,
such as in the two examples shown,
but this is not always true.
When you have a sentence with two subjects joined by the word 'and,'
you have what's known as a compound subject.
Compound subjects require a plural verb,
even if both of the subjects are singular.
Running and swimming are my favourite activities.
Running and swimming
Running and swimming
are the subjects of the sentence that are joined together by the word 'and.'
And therefore require the plural verb 'are,'
as opposed to the singular verb 'is.'
as opposed to the singular verb 'is.'
Although this rule looks simple enough off hand,
note that there are a few things to watch for:
When a company name has multiple nouns and the word 'and,'
it is still one company
and is therefore not a compound subject.
In the example shown,
Peterson, Peterson and Stanley Incorporated
is a company I would not like to work for.
There's only one company and not multiple subjects.
So the singular verb 'is,' is used,
as opposed to the plural verb 'are.'
When the word each,
or every appears with the nouns that are separated by 'and,'
then the noun is still considered singular.
Every second,
minute, and hour
feels like an eternity when one is separated from his beloved.
In the example shown here,
there are multiple subjects that are separated by the word 'and.'
You will recall that the usual solution for compound subjects separated by 'and' is to use a plural verb.
You will recall that the usual solution for compound subjects separated by 'and' is to use a plural verb.
However,
when the word each or every is used, each subject is thought of individually.
Every second feels like an eternity.
Every minute feels like an eternity.
And every hour feels like an eternity.
Be cautious when you see a sentence with a verb that appears before the subject.
This situation is referred to as inverted order.
Remember that the words here and their can never be the subject of a sentence.
Here is the scariest ride in the park.
When you see a sentence that starts with these words,
the verb is usually shown in inverted order with the verb before the subject.
The key is to revert the sentence back to the normal order of subject and then verb,
The key is to revert the sentence back to the normal order of subject and then verb,
as shown in the sentence:
The scariest ride in the park is here.
In this case, the phrase 'in the park'
In this case, the phrase 'in the park'
is also removed to reveal that the word 'ride' is the true subject.
As another example:
'On my list of things to try is skydiving,'
can be reversed to read
'Skydiving is on my list of things to try.'
To identify the subject, 'skydiving,'
To identify the subject, 'skydiving,'
and the verb, 'is.'
and the verb, 'is.'
A final type of inverted order sentence is the question.
Notice that the verb in the question,
'Is one of the rides broken?'
actually starts the sentence.
In this case the sentence is reverted to normal order.
One of the rides is broken.
With the subject before the verb
and once again the prepositional phrase, 'of the rides,'
beginning with the preposition 'of' is removed
and it is revealed that 'one' is the true subject of the sentence and therefore
requires the singular verb 'is.'
requires the singular verb 'is.'
We discussed how to make the verb agree with the compound subjects of the
sentence joined by the verb 'and.'
Now we will look at a compound subject that is joined together by the word or or nor.
Now we will look at a compound subject that is joined together by the word or or nor.
When a compound subject is joined by or or nor, you make the verb agree with the
subject that is near the verb.
The examples shown here are almost the same,
accept that the subject order is reversed.
Either rabbits or my dog is destroying my garden.
Either my dog or rabbits are destroying my garden.
When the subject 'dog' is closer to the verb,
such as in the first sentence,
the verb must agree with the singular subject of 'dog.'
But in the second example,
with the subjects reversed,
the verb must agree with the plural subject of 'rabbits.'
Look at the words shown in this table:
These are all called indefinite pronouns.
Singular indefinite pronouns include each,
nobody, something, everyone, either,
or neither.
Plural indefinite pronouns include both and many.
Plural indefinite pronouns include both and many.
Indefinite pronouns that could be singular or plural include none, some,
more and most.
more and most.
Words like another, many and most
can all be used in a sentence as indefinite pronouns.
The problem with indefinite pronouns is that they can make the verb behave in different ways.
The problem with indefinite pronouns is that they can make the verb behave in different ways.
Some indefinite pronouns are always singular, such as each and nobody.
And would therefore require a singular verb.
Nobody likes rice pudding.
Others, like both and many, are always plural
and require a plural noun.
Many like chocolate sundaes.
Many like chocolate sundaes.
Much more tricky, however, are the indefinite pronouns that can be either
singular or plural, such as none, some,
more,
and most.
When you have one of these indefinite pronouns that can be either plural or
singular, depending on the context of your sentence,
then you must consider the prepositional phrase to determine subject-verb agreement.
then you must consider the prepositional phrase to determine subject-verb agreement.
In the first example: All of the cupcakes have been eaten.
Using the indefinite pronoun 'all,'
you will notice that the noun 'cupcakes' in the prepositional phrase is plural
and therefore the plural verb 'have'
is used, as opposed to the singular verb 'has.'
However,
the exact same indefinite pronoun 'all' is used with a singular verb 'is' in the second sentence.
the exact same indefinite pronoun 'all' is used with a singular verb 'is' in the second sentence:
All of the cake is gone too.
Because the noun 'cake' in the prepositional phrase is singular.
Because the noun 'cake' in the prepositional phrase is singular.
Indefinite pronouns that can be singular or plural
such as none,
some,
more,
most,
and all,
should always be carefully considered.
Let's end by talking about collective nouns.
A collective noun names a group of people or things.
Some examples include audience,
committee,
family,
and team.
Whether you use a singular or plural noun depends on whether the group is acting as a unit,
Whether you use a singular or plural noun depends on whether the group is acting as a unit,
or if the members of the group are acting individually in the group.
In the first example shown:
My family has many different pets.
The family is acting as a single unit,
and so a singular verb is required.
My family are coming to my wedding from various parts of the world.
In the second example shown,
the family members are acting separately and traveling from different places.
And this sentence requires a plural verb.
It is often easiest to include the word 'members'
if the group members are acting separately,
as the word 'members' makes it very easy and clear to remember that a plural verb is required.
as the word 'members' makes it very easy and clear to remember that a plural verb is required.
My family 'members' are coming to my wedding from various parts of the world.
My family 'members' are coming to my wedding from various parts of the world.
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Grammar Module 7: Subject-Verb Agreement

1729 タグ追加 保存
Hebe Ya 2015 年 5 月 28 日 に公開
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