Subject Verb Agreement - What is Subject - Verb Agreement English Grammar

Subject Verb Agreement - Learn Grammar -What is Subject - Verb Agreement. The verb has to agree with the subject in number and person. That means if the subject is singular, the verb should be singular. Likewise, if the subject is plural, the verb should be plural. So, simply we can say, Singular subjects need singular verbs; plural subjects need plural verbs. More than 50 rules have been discussed below on Subject Verb Agreement
  • My brother is a nutritionist.
  • My sisters are mathematicians.
Subject Verb Agreement అనగా వాక్యంలో సబ్జెక్టుకు తగ్గ Verb (క్రియా) రూపాన్ని వాడటం. Subject ఏకవచనం అయితే క్రియ కూడా ఏకవచనంలో ఉండేటట్లు, సబ్జెక్టు బహువచనం అయితే క్రియ కూడా బహువచన రూపంలో ఉండే విధంగా వాక్యాన్ని సరిచేయాలి. Subject ఏ వచనంలో ఉందొ గుర్తించడం, దానికి తగ్గ క్రియా రూపాన్ని ఉపయోగించుట Subject Verb Agreement ముఖ్య ఉద్దేశం.

Subject Verb Agreement - What is Subject - Verb Agreement English Grammar

Being able to find the right subject and verb will help you correct errors of subject-verb agreement. Subjects and verbs must agree in number. This is the cornerstone rule that forms the background of the concept.
  • Subordinate clauses that come between the subject and verb don't affect their agreement.
The dog, who is chewing on my jeans, is usually very good.
  • Prepositional phrases between the subject and verb usually do not affect agreement.
The colors of the rainbow are beautiful.
  • when sentences start with "there" or "here," the subject will always be placed after the verb. Some care needs to be taken to identify each part correctly.
There is a problem with the balance sheet.
 Here are the papers you requested.
  • Subjects don't always come before verbs in questions. Make sure you accurately identify the subject before deciding on the proper verb form to use.
Where are the pieces of this puzzle?
Some Rules for better understanding of Subject Verb Agreement

Pronouns - Categories - Subject Verb Agreement

When the subject is a pronoun, the verb has to agree with it in person as well.
English pronouns belong to three categories – 1st person, 2nd person and 3rd person
  • First person pronouns – I and we
  • Second person pronoun – you
  • Third person pronoun – he, she, it, they
In the simple present tense, when the subject is a singular noun or pronoun, the verb takes the marker –s.
  • The girl wants to be a famous singer.
  • All children need love.
  • Plants need water and sunlight.
  • My brother serves in the army.

Or, either…or, neither….nor, "not only/ but also" etc

When two or more singular nouns are connected with ‘or’, ‘either…or’ or ‘neither…nor’, the verb agrees with the noun closest to

1. If the subjects are both singular and are connected by the words "or," "nor," "neither/nor," "either/or," or "not only/but also," the verb is singular. Read at
  • Either Jessica or Christian is to blame for the accident.
2. If the subjects are both plural and are connected by the words "or," "nor," "neither/nor," "either/or," or "not only/but also," the verb is plural.
  • Not only dogs but also cats are available at the animal shelter.
3. If one subject is singular and the other is plural, and the words are connected by the words "or," "nor," "neither/nor," "either/or," or "not only/but also," use the verb form of the subject that is nearest the verb. Means, when a compound subject contains both a singular and a plural noun or pronoun joined by or or nor, the verb should agree with the part of the subject that is nearer the verb.
  • Either the bears or the lion has escaped from the zoo.
  • Neither the lion nor the bears have escaped from the zoo.
  • The boy or his friends run every day.
  • His friends or the boy runs every day.
  • Neither you nor your dogs know how to behave.
4. Always remember that, when either and neither are used as pronouns, they are treated as singular and always take the singular verb.
  • Either of the books is fine for MAT preparation.
  • Neither my brother nor his friends eat fish. (Here the plural verb ‘eat’ agrees with the plural noun ‘friends’.)
  • Neither the professors nor the principal was present at the meeting. (Here the singular verb ‘was’ agrees with the singular noun ‘principal’.)
  • Rohan or his brothers are responsible for this. (Here the plural verb ‘are’ agrees with the plural noun ‘brothers’.)
  • My aunt or my uncle is arriving by train today.
  • Neither Juan nor Carmen is available.

A subject will come before a phrase beginning with of

A subject will come before a phrase beginning with of.  This is a key rule for understanding subjects. The word of is the culprit in many, perhaps most, subject-verb mistakes.

Incorrect: A bouquet of yellow roses lend color and fragrance to the room.
Correct: A bouquet of yellow roses lends . . . (bouquet lends, not roses lend)
  • The study of insects is called Entomology
  • The graphical representation of the numbers has been submitted
  • The rules of this game are simple.
  • One half of the oranges were brought to grandma's home.

Collective Nouns - Subject Verb Agreement Rules

Collective nouns are words that imply more than one person but that are considered singular and take a singular verb, such as - group, team, committee, class, and family.
  • The team runs during practice.
  • The committee decides how to proceed.
  • The family has a long history.
  • My family has never been able to agree.
  • The crew is preparing to dock the ship. This sentence is referring to the individual efforts of each crew member.

Some More Rules to be kept in mind for Subject Verb Agreement

If one of the words "each," "every," or "no" comes before the subject, the verb is singular.
  • No smoking is allowed.
  • Every man is required to check in.
The singular verb form is usually reserved for units of measurement or time.
  • Four quarts of oil was required to get the car running. 
  • Five gallons of oil was required to get the engine running
When the percentage or a part of something is mentioned with plural meaning the plural verb is used.
  • For example: 40 of every 100 children are malnourished.
Titles of books, movies, novels, and other similar works are treated as singular and take a singular verb.
  • The Burbs is a movie starring Tom Hanks
When gerunds are used as the subject of a sentence, they take the singular form of the verb. However, when they are linked by "and," they take the plural form.
  • Standing in the water was a bad idea.
  • Swimming in the ocean and playing drums are my hobbies.
If connectives/appositives like along with, together with, as well as, accompanied by etc. are used to combine two subjects, the verb agrees with the subject mentioned first.
  • Mr. Ram, accompanied by his wife Sita and his brother, was banished to the forest.
A number of/ the number or ‘A number of (some countable noun)’ is always plural. ‘The number of (some countable noun)’ is always singular.
  • A number of students are going on the trip.
Do not be misled by a phrase that comes between the subject and the verb. The verb agrees with the subject, not with a noun or pronoun in the phrase.
  • One of the boxes is open
  • The people who listen to that music are few.
  • The team captain, as well as his players, is anxious.
  • The book, including all the chapters in the first section, is boring.
  • The woman with all the dogs walks down my street.

Subject/Verb Agreement Examples

Here are some examples of subject verb agreement (the subject is bolded and the verb underlined):

  • · My dog always growls at the postal carrier.
  • · Basketballs roll across the floor.
  • · I don't understand the assignment.
  • · These clothes are too small for me.
  • · Peter doesn't like vegetables. 
Compound Subjects
Compound subjects (two subjects in the same sentence) usually take a plural verb, unless the combination is treated as singular in popular usage or the two subjects refer to the same thing or person. Here are some examples of subject verb agreement with compound subjects:

  • · Sugar and flour are needed for the recipe.
  • · Neither my dad nor my brothers know how to ski.
  • · Pepperoni and cheese are great on a pizza.
  • · Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional meal in Ireland. (popular usage)
  • · The creator and producer is arriving soon. (both refer to same person)
When using "or" or "nor" in a compound subject containing a singular and plural subject, the verb agrees with the closest subject. Examples of compound subjects using or, neither-nor, or either-or include:
  • · My mom or dad is coming to the play. (singular)
  • · Neither gray nor white is my favorite color. (singular)
  • · Either Grandpa or my sisters are going to the park. (closest subject is plural)
  • · Either my sisters or Grandpa is going to the park. (closest subject is singular)
  • · Neither she nor I am going to college. (closest subject is singular)
Singular Indefinite Pronouns
Here are some examples of subject verb agreement with singular indefinite pronouns:
  • · Each gets a trophy for playing.
  • · Somebody will pay for this.
  • · Anybody is more fun than you.
  • · Something is very wrong here.
  • · Everybody enjoys a good book.
  • · Nothing has been determined as of yet.
Plural Indefinite Pronouns 
Here are some examples of subject verb agreement with plural indefinite pronouns:
  • · Both are qualified for the job.
  • · Many went to the beach and got sunburned.
  • · Few know what it really takes to get ahead.
  • · Several are already on location.
  • · Some sugar is required for taste. (sugar is uncountable so singular verb used)
  • · Most of the cookies were eaten. (cookies are countable so plural verb used)
Midsentence Phrase or Clause
Here are some examples of subject verb agreement with a phrase or clause between the subject and verb:
  • · A theory of physics ascertains that a body in motion stays in motion.
  • · A virus in all the company's computers is a real threat to security.
  • · The causes of this prevalent disease are bad diet and lack of exercise.
  • · The couch and chair I got at the store look really nice in here.
  • · The members of the choir are very happy with the performance.
Collective Nouns
Collective nouns can be singular or plural depending on meaning. Here are some examples of subject verb agreement with collective nouns:
  • · The committee meets here every Thursday. (singular)
  • · The crowd is getting angry. (singular)
  • · The jury has finally reached a decision. (singular)
  • · The majority rules most of the time. (singular)
  • · The staff have gone their separate ways for the holidays. (plural)
Inverted Subjects 
Here are some examples of subject verb agreement with inverted subjects where the subject follows the verb:
  • · There are seven clean plates in the dining room.
  • · There is a hair in my lasagna.
  • · Over the rainbow flies a bird.
  • · How are the employees enjoying the new building?
  • · A good gift is a gift card.
Subject-Verb agreement is essential to make sure that a sentence is grammatically correct. Thus, the above ten basic rules can help you to master subject-verb agreement