Campus Recruitment – Verbal Ability -Subject-Verb Agreement
- All subjects must agree in number and person with the verb.
e.g.: The students of the primary section are going on a picnic.
The quality of these mangoes is very good.
- Two or more singular subjects connected by ‘and’ usually take a verb in the plural.
e.g.: Sheela and Ragini are here.
Wealth and generosity don’t go together.
- If two singular nouns refer to the same person or thing the verb must be singular.
e.g.: My best friend and confidant has come.
(a confidant is a friend in whom you can confide your secrets)
The Chairman and Managing Director is going to address the employees.
- If two subjects together express one idea, the verb is singular:
e.g.: Slow and steady wins the race.
Bread and butter is his only food.
- Words joined t.o a singular subject by ‘with, together with, in addition to, or as well as are parenthetical and so the verb should be in singular.
e.g.: The house with its contents was insured.
The price of silver as well as gold has fallen.
- Two nouns qualified by ‘each’ or ‘every’ even though connected by ‘and’ require a singular verb.
e.g.: Each senior member was honored.
Every man and woman was present at the festival.
- Two or more singular subjects connected by ‘or,neither nor, either or’ take a verb in the singular.
e.g.: Neither he nor I was there.
Either he or I am mistaken.
- When the subjects joined by ‘or, nor’ are of different numbers, the verb must be plural and the plural subject must be placed before the verb.
e.g.: Rana or his brothers have done this.
Neither the Principal nor the teachers were present.
- When the subjects joined by ‘or, nor’ are of different persons, the verb agrees in person with the one nearest to it.
e.g.: Either he or I am mistaken.
Neither you nor he is to blame.
- A singular verb should be used with a collective noun, when the collection is thought of as one whole.
A plural verb should be used with a collective noun when it refers to the individuals who comprise it.
e.g.: The crew was large.
The crew were taken prisoners.
The council has chosen its president.
The council are divided on the issue of making Aadhar card mandatory.
- Some nouns which are plural in form, but singular in meaning, take a singular verb.
e.g.: The news is true.
Civics is important for people who wish to enter the civil services.
- When the plural noun is a proper name for some single object or some collective unit, the verb should be singular.
e.g.: The United States has a big army.
Gulliver’s travels was written by Swift.
- When a plural noun denotes some specific quantity or amount considered as a whole, the verb is generally singular.
e.g.: Ten miles is not a short distance.
Fifty thousand rupees is a large sum.
- A common blunder is to leave the Participle without proper subject.
e.g.: Sitting on a gate, a scorpion stung him. (wrong) (who was sitting on the gate)
While he was sitting on the gate a scorpion stung him. (correct)
Being a hot day, I stayed at home, (wrong) (who or what is the hot day)
It being a hot day, I stayed at home, (correct)
Correction of Sentences
- She is going to temple everyday.(simple present; so goes)
- These school children needs books and pencils, (need)
- When he is playing cricket, he fell down.(was playing)
- She has completed her graduation last year.(remove ‘has’)
- They are living here since 2010. (have been living)
- When the ambulance came the patient died, (had died)
- They are having the same car for 10 years, (have had)
- She will leave for Mumbai tomorrow, (is leaving)
- We have gone to Chennai last week, (have been to)
- She is hearing to carnatic music, (listening)
- She never visited Charminar before.(had never visited)
- Your parcel didn’t come yet. (hasn’t)
- He sleeping while his wife cleaning the house.(was sleeping—-was cleaning)
- I am liking mangoes. (like)
- He is always forgetting my phone number.(forgets)