Saturday, February 11, 2012

Subject-Verb Agreement Rules for Seventh Graders

Rules for Subject-Verb Agreement
·      Nouns joined with  “and” take a plural verb.
·      Singular nouns joined with “or”  or “nor” take a singular verb.
·      When a singular  and a plural noun are joined by “or,”  the one closest to the verb tells you whether the verb is singular or plural. 

·      “Don’t” is plural and “Doesn’t” is singular.

·      If a subject is followed by a prepositional phrase, cross out the prepositional phrase before you decide what the verb should be.  Example:  One of the students (a. is / b. are) absent.
o   Prepositions include  at, by, for, from, in, of , on, to, with and others.

·      Sometimes groups of words beginning with  the words “who. . . ,” “as well as. . .  ,”  or “including. . . . ,” or others come between the subject and the verb.  Cross them out before you decide what the verb should be.
o   Examples:   My aunt, who loves to eat raw tomatoes, (a. grow / b. grows) a huge garden.
§  My aunts and uncles, including  Aunt Hermione, (a. live / b. lives) in Utah.
§  My Aunt Hermione, as well as Uncles Ron and Harry, ((a. live / b. lives)  in Orem. 

·      Some words that end in “s” are singular, such as mathematics, civics, dollars, measles, and news. 

·      Some words that end in “s” are plural, such as scissors, tweezers, shears, and trousers.

·      The words each, each one, either, neither, everyone, everybody, anybody, anyone, nobody, somebody, someone, and no one are singular and require a singular verb.

·      Stop that pen!  Don’t cross out the prepositional phrase if it goes with these words:
o   All, any, half, most, none, and some are plural unless they are followed by a  prepositional phrase with a singular noun. 
§  Most have already been eaten.
§  Most of the pies have already been eaten.
§  Most of the pie has already been eaten.

·      When a sentence begins with “here” or  “there,”  turn the sentence around in your mind so the subject  comes first.   Example:  There (a. was /b. were)  bats living in the ceiling.   Change it to “Bats were living in the ceiling.”