Subject Verb Agreement 24 Rules

Subject-verb agreement is an essential component of proper grammar. It ensures that a sentence is structured correctly and is grammatically sound. To help you navigate this important aspect of writing, we’ve compiled a list of 24 rules to follow when it comes to subject-verb agreement.

1. The verb must agree with the subject in number. A singular subject takes a singular verb, and a plural subject takes a plural verb.

2. Singular subjects that end in ‘s’ take a singular verb. For example, “The bus passes my house every morning.”

3. Plural subjects that do not end in ‘s’ take a plural verb. For example, “The children were playing in the park.”

4. Plural subjects that end in ‘s’ take a singular verb. For example, “The news is not good.”

5. Collective nouns take a singular verb when referring to the group as a whole. For example, “The team is excited to play in the championship game.”

6. When referring to multiple entities, each noun takes its own verb. For example, “John and Jane are going to the movies.”

7. In compound subjects joined by “and”, use a plural verb. For example, “The dog and cat chase each other around the yard.”

8. When the subject is separated by the phrase “as well as,” the verb should agree with the first subject. For example, “The teacher, as well as her students, is excited about the field trip.”

9. Nouns and pronouns that refer to the same person or thing must be singular or plural, and the verb must agree. For example, “The woman and her family are going on vacation.”

10. Collective nouns can take a plural verb when referring to individual members of the group. For example, “The committee have their own opinions.”

11. Nouns that represent quantities, such as “percentage,” “majority,” and “few,” take a singular verb when they refer to a single entity. For example, “The majority disagrees with the decision.”

12. When using “each” or “every” before a subject, use a singular verb. For example, “Each student has their own textbook.”

13. When using “either/or” and “neither/nor,” the verb should agree with the closest subject. For example, “Neither the coach nor the players were happy with the loss.”

14. “One of” followed by a plural noun takes a singular verb. For example, “One of the apples is rotten.”

15. “The number of” followed by a plural noun takes a singular verb. For example, “The number of students in the class has decreased.”

16. “A number of” followed by a plural noun takes a plural verb. For example, “A number of people were waiting in line.”

17. When using “there” as the subject, the verb should agree with the noun that follows it. For example, “There are many reasons why people enjoy traveling.”

18. When the subject is a fraction, use a singular verb if the numerator is one. For example, “One-fourth of the pie is missing.”

19. When gerunds are used as the subject, they are singular and take a singular verb. For example, “Walking in the park is my favorite activity.”

20. When using “many a,” use a singular verb. For example, “Many a person has experienced heartbreak.”

21. When the subject is a title, book, or other publication, the verb should agree with the singular noun. For example, “The Great Gatsby is a classic novel.”

22. When using “who” or “which,” the verb should agree with the noun that follows it. For example, “The person who won the race is my friend.”

23. When a subject is separated from its verb by a long phrase, the verb should agree with the subject. For example, “The dog, chasing after the ball, is happy.”

24. When the subject and verb are separated by a phrase, clause, or appositive, the verb should agree with the subject. For example, “The students, who are always on time, are ready to begin class.”

By following these 24 rules for subject-verb agreement, you can be sure that your writing is grammatically correct and easy to read. Remember, proper grammar is important for clear communication and making a good impression on your readers.