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Subject Verb Agreement Rules

Last Updated : 27 Sep, 2022
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This is the second part of the Subject Verb Agreement rules. You are already aware of the fact that even if you are competent in the English part of the Govt. Job Syllabus, you will not be able to effectively impart your knowledge if you do not understand the rules. 

Earlier we discussed the first few rules of the said topic. Now in this article, we are going to explain a few more rules along with the example for your better understanding. 

Now before jumping into the rules, we are mentioning the basic subject-verb agreement as before for your reference.

Singular Subject

Singular Verbs

Plural Subject

Plural Verbs

I am/ was/ have/ go/ read We are/ were/ have / go / read
You are/ were/ have / go / read You are/ were/ have / go / read
He/ She/ It is/ was / has/ goes/ reads  They are/ were/ have / go / read

Important Rules for Subject-Verb Agreement Part 2

Rule 9: A verb should agree with the proper subject rather than the noun or pronoun next to it, not with the subject immediately nearby but rather with the subject in number and person.

Example: The quality of the dress that you gave me on my birthday was very fine.

Rule 10: If two nouns connected with and relate to the same person, thing, or idea or suggest a single concept, we employ a singular verb following them.

Example: Bread and butter is my favourite breakfast.

Rule 11: A single verb is used after two singular subjects when they are joined with “or” or “nor”.

Example: I think Riya or Sia is interested in the project.

Rule 12: When two subjects are connected by “or” or “nor”, and one of them is singular and the other is plural, the verb agrees to the plural subject and the plural subject is put closest to the verb.

Example: Neither the teacher nor the students are present in the class.

Rule 13: The verb agrees with the subject next to it when two subjects are connected by “or” or “nor” but are of different persons.

Example: Either you or she has to be present.

Rule 14: Plural nouns or pronouns are used after expressions like One of, Each of, Either of, Any of, Neither of, None of and Everyone of. We still use a singular verb after them even if they take a plural noun or pronoun.

Example: One of my friends has agreed to join our team.

Rule 15: Two nouns will take a single verb following them if they are connected by the conjunction and are preceded by words like “each” and “every”.

Example: Every man and every woman was asked to cast vote.

Rule 16: Some nouns that appear singular but have plural meanings take plural verbs. These words include police, gentry, clergy, people, cattle, infantry, etc.

Example: The angry people were trying to beat the thief.

Rule 17: Singular and plural verbs are used with collective nouns. We choose the verb based on the sentence’s context. Let’s analyze these double uses:

i. With a singular verb: The audience was advised to be silent. (audience= single entity)
ii. With a plural verb: The jury were divided to give the verdict (Jury= all individual members of the jury at a time)

Thus this was the second part of the very important topic Subject-Verb Agreement. We hope the articles are helping you understand the topic in detail. Don’t forget to check out “Subject Verb Agreement for Govt. exams: Rules and Example (Part3)” for the rest of the rules.

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