Subject and Verb Agreement

Topics: Grammatical number, Verb, Collective noun Pages: 3 (699 words) Published: October 21, 2010
Subject and Verb Agreement
1. Collective Nouns
* Consider a collective noun singular when it refers to a group as a whole. The orchestra rises.
My family loves to travel.
* Consider it plural when it refers to each member of a group individually. The orchestra are voting for their new conductor.
My family take turns choosing places to go.
2. Special Nouns
* Nouns plural in form (ending in S) but singular in meaning take singular verbs. Acoustics, economics, linguistics, mathematics, measles, mumps, news, physics, rickets, phonetics, etc. Linguistics is an interesting subject.

* Nouns singular in form (not ending in S) but plural in meaning take plural verbs. Cattle, livestock, poultry
Cattle number more than people in some countries.
* Nouns always used in the plural (always end in S) require plural verbs. Eyeglasses, shears, pliers, pants, thanks, congratulations, slippers, trousers, clothes, etc. These binoculars are a bargain.

In some cultures, thanks were given to the gods to make them happy. * Nouns expressing abstract ideas are usually singular in form and require singular verbs. Poverty, courage, education, fear, happiness

Poverty is not an obstacle to success.
* The following MASS nouns are ALWAYS singular and require singular verbs: Ammunition, applause, baggage, luggage, blood, bread, chalk, coffee, dirt, dust, electricity, equipment, furniture, gossip, gravel, heat, homework, ice, information, ink, jewelry, lightning, music, machinery, milk, money, perfume, poetry, prose, rice, salt, scenery, soap, sugar, thunder, water, smoke. * When the foregoing nouns are preceded by pieces of, kinds of, drops of, collection of, etc. they require plural verbs. Antique pieces of furniture are sold at that store.

Rare collections of jewelry are expensive.
Drops of blood were seen on the floor.
* Some nouns always plural in form but either singular or plural in meaning require the verbs to agree with the meaning...
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