- Verb Agreement
is the person, place, thing or idea about which we are talking about in the
sentence. A verb is used to describe an action, state or occurrence. Every
sentence has subject and suitable verb. Subjects and verbs must agree with one another in number
(singular or plural). This is called subject verb agreement.
Read the following two sentences:-
Dia are washing the dishes in the
The girls likes ice cream.
you find any problem in above two sentences?
of course. The above 2 sentences have subject-verb agreement problems.
If the subject is plural, a plural verb is required and if the subject is
singular, a singular verb is required.
fix the above two sentences as per the basic rule.
Dia is washing the dishes in the kitchen.
Here subject (Dia) is singular. So we will
use singular form of verb (is).
The girls like ice cream.
Here subject is plural (girls). So we will use verb
Rule 1: When two singular subjects are
connected by the words “or”,
“either/or”, “neither/nor” requires singular verb.
Neither Ria nor Tia is coming today.
Either Priya or Shreya is helping today
in role play preparation.
Tim or Tom is to blame for the project
Rule 2: When one subject is singular and other
is plural are connected by the words “or”,
“either/or”, “neither/nor”, “not only/but also” then look at the closest
subject to the verb. If the subject closest to the verb is singular, use a
singular verb and if the subject is plural, use a plural verb. Neither and either sometimes take a plural form of verb when these
pronouns are followed by a prepositional phrase beginning with of.
Neither my sisters nor my father is
going to the party today.
Either my father or my sisters are
going to the party today.
Are either my friends or my brother
Is either my brother or my friends
Not only Ayush but also Arya wants to
visit Taj Mahal.
Neither the teacher nor the students
use the smart board in the class.
Rule 3: When two or more subjects are joined by
“and” require plural form of verb.
But this rule does not apply in case of compound noun.
The dog and the cat are jumping over
Ria and her friends are at the book
Rule 4: In case of nouns such scissors,
trousers, tweezers, pliers, binoculars, glasses, jeans, pants, shorts etc. (thing
made of two parts) require plural verbs unless they're preceded by the phrase pair of.
These glasses are very expensive.
A pair of plain trousers is in the almirah.
Rule 5: Collective nouns are considered singular and hence requires
Our team is doing well in this match.
Her family is very helpful.
The committee is discussing the
Rule 6: In case of indefinite pronoun such as anyone, everyone, anybody,
everybody, someone, somebody, no one, nobody are singular and require singular
form of verbs.
Somebody is here.
Everyone has finished his or her
Everybody knows about Mrs. X.
Everybody is ready to help her.
Anyone who wants to pursue higher
education has to clear entrance tests.
Rule 7: In case of pronoun such as few, both, many,
several and some almost always requires plural form of verbs.
Some people in my neighbor are very
Few things were left to be done.
Rule 8: In case of pronoun such as all and some
refer to singular or plural depending on what they are pointing to.
Some marbles are missing.
Some of the liquid is used.
Rule 9: In case of word that end in –s but are
singular require singular verbs and in case of word that end in –s but are
plural require plural verbs.
The news is so embarrassing.
Our sincere thanks go to our principal.
The media have exposed the facts.
Rule 10: In case of relative pronouns such as
who, whom, which, that etc. are considered either singular or plural depending
upon the words they are pointing to.
The marketing manager is a good
researcher who spends enough time to study the market.
The marketing managers are good
researchers who spend enough time to study the market.
Rule 11: In case of words is joined to a
singular subject by ‘as well as’ or ‘with’ we use singular form of helping
The purse, with all my all cards, is
The CEO, as well as his team members,
was forced to resign.