The basic rule of subject verb agreement is that a singular subject takes a singular verb (is, was, has, does, v5), while a plural subject takes a plural verb (are, were, have, do,v1).
- Nitesh is a tennis player.
He studies in Grade X.
- Arun and Bidit are badminton players.
They study in Grade XII.
Rules of Agreement
- Singular nouns and pronouns that denote one always agree with singular verbs (is, was, has, does, v5)
Lisa types 50 words a minute,
She is absolutely furious with me.
- Plural nouns and pronouns that denote more than one always agree with plural verbs (are, were have, do, v1)
E.g. Lisa and Mona type 50 words a minute.
They are absolutely furious with me.
- The following indefinite pronouns always agree with singular verbs.(either, anybody, nobody, someone, other,each, everyone, anything, somebody, neither, no one, everything, everbody, anyone, one, nothing)
E.g. Either party has the right to sign the contract.
Anybody who is good at computer typing can apply for this post.
- However, the following indefinite pronouns always take plural verbs. (both, few, many, several, others)
E.g. Both men were charged of murder.
Both women were Pakistani.
- Subjects with 'each, each of, every, either, either of, neither, neither of, one, one of, etc are always singular and agree with singular verbs.
Each and every student has a textbook.
One of them was very sick.
- Uncountable nounsare always singular and agree with singular verbs (is, was, has, does, v5).
E.g. Water freezes at 32 degreeF.
Coffee was served during the intermission.
- Verbal nouns (gerunds and to-infinitives) always agree with singular verbs (is, was, has, does, v5).
E.g, Walking is a healthy exercise.
To walk is healthy.
- Some adjectives with ' the' occur as the subject and agree with plural verbs.
E.g. The poor are given shelter.
The rich are happy.
- Arithmetic sums normally agree with singular verbs (is , was, has, does, v5).
E.g. Three plus three equals six.
Ten plus two is twelve.
- The names and titles of books, countries, hotels, shows, etc normally agree with singular verbs.
E.g. Great Exoectations was written by Charles Dickens.
Tom and Jerry is a famous cartoon.
- Plural expressions of distance, money, time, etc normally agree with singular verbs.
E.g. Ten dollars is high price to pay.
Two kilos of rice costs about two hundred rupees.
- Words that indicate percent, fraction, part, majority, some, all, none, etc agree with singular or plural verbs depending on what types of nouns follow them.
E.g. All of the food is gone off.
All the children are physically strong.
- When nouns are joined by 'not only....but also, apostrophe' the verb often agrees with the number of the noun or ponoun nearest to the verb.
E.g. Not only Riya but also her brothers know the answer.
The boys' school is very far from here.
- Collective nouns may agree with either singular or plural depending on whether we are thinking of them as a single body or a numbers of individuals.
E.g. The family comes from India.
The family are always quarrelling.
- Agreement in these structures
E.g. There is a boy in the room.
Here comes the boys.