Syntax – Subject Verb Agreement

Subject Verb Agreement English Language Lessons Free | Suniltams

Table of Contents

Syntax – Subject Verb Agreement. 1

Syntax has two main parts: 1

Subject Verb Agreement. 1

In case of subjunctive, we always prefer were instead of was. 1

We do not use s/es with the verb in case of the usage of Bless, save, help, live, etc. 1

When dare and need are used as modal verbs. 1

If two nouns are used for one person only, we use singular verb: 1

When two nouns are used a single phrase, we use singular verb. 2

Some more sentences to understand Subject Verb Agreement: 2

When we use collective nouns like Committee, army, crowd, mob, society, assembly, parliament, council, crew, staff, jury, fleet, majority, etc. with singular verb. 2

Also, 2

However, 2

Some nouns sound to be plural but they are singular like. 2

Use singular verbs with ‘Each’ and ‘every’. 3

Some nouns sound singular, however they are plural. We use plural verb with these. 3

When two subjects are connected with not only … but also, the verb is used as per the nearest subject. 3

Syntax means sentence structure. It is necessary to know the sentence structure to know in the English language to write and speak correct English language.

Syntax has two main parts:

  1. Concord or agreement
  2. Order

Subject-Verb Agreement

If the subject is singular, the verb should be singular and if the subject is plural, the verb should be plural. The verb must agree with its subject in number and person.

  1. I am playing.
  2. They are playing
  3. He is playing.
  4. We are playing.

In the case of the subjunctive, we always prefer were instead of was.

  • If I were prime minister, I would do better than the current one.
  • Were he a king!
  • I wish I were a bird.
  • If I were you I would kill him.

We do not use s/es with the verb in case of the usage of Bless, save, help, live, etc

  1. God Save the Queen.
  2. May God help you!
  3. Long live the king.
  4. God bless you with a son.

When dare and need are used as modal verbs.

  1. He need not go there. Or he does not need to go there.
  2. She dare not oppose your proposal. Or She should not dare to oppose your proposal.
  3. Need he go there?
  4. Dare she oppose you?

If two nouns are used for one person only, we use a singular verb:

  1. The poet and painter has died.
  2. The project director and additional collector is on tour.
  3. The scheme and plan of my life differs from that of yours.
  4. His authority and command is indeed great.
  5. The benefit and advantage of this business is enormous.

When two nouns are used a single phrase, we use a singular verb.

  1. Bread and butter is a good breakfast.
  2. ‘Early to bed and early to rise’ is a good habit.
  3. Pen and ink is needed by me.

Some more sentences to understand Subject Verb Agreement:

  • No man or woman was present there.
  • Either Sita or Ram was present at the party.
  • Neither she nor he is responsible for the loss.
  • Neither the principal nor the teachers were present in the function.
  • Either Ramesh or his friends have stolen the watch.
  • Either you or I am to go there.
  • He or I am to go there.

When we use collective nouns like Committee, army, crowd, mob, society, assembly, parliament, council, crew, staff, jury, fleet, majority, etc. with a singular verb

  • The parliament has passed the bill.
  • The army was deployed at the border.
  • The fleet has reached the port.
  • The mob moves towards the parliament.

Also,

  • Five kilograms is not a heavyweight. – Here ‘is’ is referring to the weight.
  • Six miles is not a very long distance.
  • Hundred rupees is a big amount for him.

However,

  • Five years have passed. – Here we are talking about five years, not time.
  • Two thousand rupees were charged by him.

Some nouns sound to be plural but they are singular like

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Economics
  • Politics
  • Billiards
  • Innings
  • Wages
  • Alms

We use a singular verb with these.

Use singular verbs with ‘Each’ and ‘every’.

  • Each boy and girl has to attend the function.
  • Every man, woman, and child was happy to meet with the president.

Some nouns sound singular, however, they are plural. We use a plural verb with these.

  • The cattle are grazing in the field.
  • Not less a dozen were injured.
  • A score were saved by him.
  • The people were fully satisfied.

When two subjects are connected with not only … but also, the verb is used as per the nearest subject.

  • Not only Ramesh but also Suresh is going on the trip.
  • Not only Ramesh but also his friends are going on the trip.

Subject-verb agreement is not a tough thing. You need to realize the real subject in the sentence. For better understanding, translate the sentence in your native language and you will easily understand whether the verb should be singular or plural.

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