The subject verb agreement in the english language is the most confusing subject matter. There are a lot of possibilities, as well as exceptions in the rules when we apply in the sentence formation. Generally, it is advised to use “verb” as per the number and person of the “subject”. But, what would happen when more than one subject with varying numbers used in the single sentence ? Let’s explore the possibilities of subject verb agreement..
•Verb as per the person and number of the subject.
•Bill Clinton was the US President.
•He is a gifted artist.
•Herbivores thrive on grass.
•She plays basketball.
But, in case of compound subject in the form of noun or pronoun phrase, verb follows first word..
•The bundle of opportunities is enough to create confusion for him.(not are, because of “bundle” is singular in the phrase)
•A series of religious discources was arranged for devotees. (not were arranged)
•When two or more singular nouns or pronouns joined by ‘and” conjunction requires plural form of verb.
•Spain and France are European countries.
•Rabbit and deer are herbivores animals.
•Ronny and I were classmates.
But, in case of appositives or for similar information, no requirement for plural verb.
•Mahatma Gandhi, a freedom fighter and moral philosopher, was assassinated in 1948.
•Sri Lanka, Indian neighbour and island nation, experienced worst civil war.
•Singular nouns joined by following connectors :– As well as, no less than, besides, etc. do not need for plural verb.
•The temperature, as well as humidity is unbearable.
She, as well as they was selected. ( as well as follows first noun or pronoun)
In the correlative conjunctions, Subject verb agreement is…
•For two singular subjects, singular auxiliary verb is preferred. But for plural subjects, plural form of auxiliary verbs are used.
•In case of singular and plural subjects, subject closer to auxiliary verb is considered.
•Neither he or his friends are available for work.(one singular and one plural subject)
Really, the subject matter of subject verb agreement seems never-ending. I will discuss remained rules in the next blog…