Sand Agreement

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					Subject-Verb Agreement

    A Tutorial for Writers
Prepared by Dr. Brenda Cornell
    Central Texas College
Good writing involves style, but
more than that, clarity.
 In clear sentences, subjects and verbs agree.
 In sensible sentences, subjects and verbs
  agree.
 In sentences written by knowledgeable
  writers, subjects and verbs agree.
When subjects and verbs “agree”.
..
 They match!
 The “I” subject uses the first-person
  singular verb form.
 The “you” subject uses the second person
  singular or plural verb form.
 The “he,” “she,” or “it” subject uses the
  third person singular verb form.
Look at an example:
 I see                     If you do not know the
 You see                    verb forms, look them
 He, she, or it sees
                             up in your handbook.



 These are singular
  subjects with singular
  forms of the verb “to
  see.”
When the plural subjects are used
(“we,” “you,” and “they”). . .
 The plural verb forms are used along with
  them:

 We see
 You see
 They see


 Again, “to see” is an easy one !
Subject and Verb Separated by a
Word Group. . .
 If a word group comes
  between the subject
  and verb, match the
  verb choice with the
  subject:

 This bunch of bananas
  looks ready to eat.

 (one bunch)
Another example:
                Several books required
                   for my paper (is, are)
                   not in our library.

                Which verb choice is
                   correct? What is the
                   subject?
Two singular subjects, joined by
and usually take a plural verb. . .

 Restoring computers
  and running track
  consume most of
  Frank’s leisure time.
One singular and one plural
subject. . .
 When one singular        EXAMPLES:
  and one plural subject
  are joined by “either-    Neither John nor his
  or” or “neither-nor,”      parents are at home.
  the verb should agree
  with the closer subject.
                            OR:

 NOTICE WHICH
  WAY READS                Neither his parents nor
  SMOOTHER.                  John is at home.
Collective Nouns as Subjects
 Collective nouns (class,
  committee, family,
  majority) are singular in
  form but stand for groups
  or collections of people or
  things. Usually collective
  nouns take singular verbs.

 EXAMPLE: The class is
  listening to a lecture.
When the verb comes ahead of
the subject. . .
 Sentences that begin      EXAMPLES:
  with here, there, how,
  what, and where are       Here is my house.
  in this category.         There go my chances for
                             promotion.
 The verb must agree       Where are my shoes?
  with the noun that
  follows it.
Practice a bit. Choose the correct
verb:
 The library, along with many of the books, (was, were)
  severely damaged by the storm.

 What (does, do) these new printers cost?


 A van or three cars (is, are) needed to drive the
  wrestling team to the meet.

 There (is, are) a few advantages to carefully planning
  your work schedule.
In summary, . . .
                     Remember the few
                     rules presented for
                     harmonious
                     relationships between
                     your subjects and
                     verbs!
Works Cited
 Reinking, Hart, and van der Osten.
  Strategies for Successful Writing. Upper
  Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2002.

				
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