Subject – Verb Agreement

Subject – Verb Agreement


Before we start Subject – Verb Agreement you have to to know one thing that what is sub- verb agreement ,we must recommend to read Verb Tenses | How Can I Use Them Correctly | Learn English Grammar And we choose for you the best Subject Verb Agreement English Grammar Questions with Answer

A verb must agree with its subject in number and person i.e, the verb should be of the same number and person as the subject.

Subject verb agreement: some rules are mentioned in below read carefully

  • In any sentences, a verb must be according to its subject in numbers.
  • Singular subjects take singular verb. e.g. A pet is beautiful.
  • Plural subjects take plural verb. e.g.  pets are beautiful.
  • This concept will be useful for subject – verb agreement learning.


Rule 1

*Two or more singular verbs joined by and take a plural verb; as
He and his brother were absent.
Seema and I are good friends.
Time and tide wait for none.

  • Sometimes two subjects are regarded as representing one idea, and then the verb is singular; as
    Slow and steady wins the race.
    Bread and butter is a wholesome food.

Rule 2

  • If two singular nouns refers to the same person or thing, the verb must be singular; as,
    The poet and philosopher is dead.
    Here the ‘poet’ and the ‘philosopher’ refer to the same person.
  • If the article is used only once, then the two nouns refer to the same person, and the verb used is singular. But if the article is mentioned twice, then two distinct persons are intended, and the verb following must be in the plural number; as,
    The poet and the philosopher are dead.

Rule 3

*If two singular nouns joined by and are preceded by each or every, the verb is singular; as,
Each day and each hour brings us a fresh anxiety.
Every man and every woman in the village was terrified.

Rule 4

  • Two or more singular subjects connected by, or, nor, either,…..or, neither…..nor, take a singular verb; as,
    Either Raju or Kaju is in the wrong.
    Neither Ram nor Hari was present there.
    Neither he nor I was mistaken.
  • When one of the nouns of pronouns joined by or, nor in the singular and other in the plural, the verb should be plural and the plural subject should be placed near the verb; as,
    John or his brothers are to be blamed.

Rule 5

*If two subjects joined by or, nor are of different persons, the Verb agrees in person with the subject nearest to it; as,
Either you or he is telling a lie.
Neither my brother nor I am happy.

Rule 6

  • If two nouns are joined by with or as well as, the verb agrees with the first noun; i.e, if the first noun is singular, the verb must be singular, even if the second noun is plural;as,
    Raman as well as his friend, has won the prize.
    The king, with all his ministers, was killed.

Rule 7

A collective noun takes a singular or plural verb according to the sense. If the idea of oneness is expressed, the verb must be singular; if the individuals of collection are thought of, the verb must be plural.
The jury were divided in their opinions.( Men of the jury)
The jury has elected its president.(one body)

Rule 8

*Either, neither, each, every one, many a must be followed by a verb in the singular; as,
Either of the two applicants is suitable.
Each of these boys has done his best.
Many a man is tempted by gold.

Rule 9

*Often the verb is made to agree in a number with a noun near it instead of its proper subject.
The behaviour of the children were excellent.
The quality of the mangoes was good.

Rule 10

*When plural noun denotes some specific quantity or amount considered as a whole, the verb is generally singular; as,
Two thirds of the city is in ruins.
Four weeks is a good holiday.

Rule 11

*With titles of books and names of science singular verbs are used; as,
The Arabian Nights is an interesting book.
Physics is a tough subject.

Rule 12

*Some nouns which are plural in form, but singular in meaning, take singular verb; as,
The news is true.
The wages of sin is death.

Rule 13

  • A relative pronoun always agrees in number and person with its antecedent; as,
    I, who am your friend, will help you.
    He, who are my friend, should try to understand by me.

Test yourself:

  1. John or his brothers _ to blame.
    a. are b. is
    c. has d. had
    Ans: are
  2. Iron as well as gold _ found in India.
    a. are b. is
    c. were d. had
    Ans: is
  3. Neither praise nor blame _ to affect her.
    a. seem b. seems
    c. has seemed d. seemed
    Ans: seems
  4. The orator and statesman _ arrived.
    a. has b. have
    c. had d. have been
    Ans: has
  5. The poet and the philosopher _ dead.
    a. are b. is
    c. have d. has
    Ans: are
  6. Any boy or girl _ it at once.
    a. see b. have seen
    c. sees d. had seen
    Ans: sees
  1. Everyone of the boat’s crew _ drowned.
    a. were b. are
    c. was d. has
    Ans: was
  2. Not one of his lectures _ ever been printed.
    a. has b. have
    c. are b. were
    Ans: have
  3. A thousand of rupees ______ a good sum.
    a. is b. are
    c. has d. have
    Ans: is
  4. Mathematics ______ a difficult subject.
    a. are b. is
    c. has d. have
    Ans: is
  5. Politics __________ a profession nowadays.
    a. is b. are
    c. was d. were
    Ans: is
  6. I am the woman who __________ your help.
    a. seek b. seeks
    c. has seek d. has been seeking
    Ans: seeks
  7. You, who_______ my friend, should try to understand me.
    a. is b. are
    c. was d. has
    Ans: are
  8. A large number of boys __________ caught copying.
    a. was b. were
    c. has d. had
    Ans: were
  9. The wages of sin _________ death.
    a. is b. are
    c. was d. were
    Ans: is

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