Avoiding Errors In Subject Verb Agreement
Subjects and verbs must agree in number. Singular subjects
take singular verbs in present tense:
Plural subjects take plural verbs:
Many words that appear to be plural are singular. Names of
corporations, organizations, or works of art are singular:
- United Technologies is
a growth company.
- Thelma and Louise is
my favorite movie.
Amounts of time and money are singular:
- Two hundred dollars is
too much to pay for a blouse.
- Fourteen hours is
not enough time.
When two singular items are joined by or, the verb is singular:
- Either the teacher OR the
parent is taking charge.
When two plural items are joined by or, the verb is plural:
- Either the teachers OR
the parents are taking charge.
When there are a singular and plural subject, the verb agrees
with the nearest subject:
- The package or the letters
- The letters or the package
Make sure to identify the key word of the subject, especially
- One of my friends is
- The cost of computer supplies is
Both One and cost are singular.
NOTE: Whether subjects are singular or plural can