[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Subject/verb agreement continued.  Here are additional guidelines (borrowed from Owl Purdue online writing lab) to help us remain in agreement.  At least in our writing.

  • Rule: The verb agrees with the subject even if a phrase comes between the subject and the verb.
  • Example: One of the shells is broken.  The fans who enjoyed the author’s new book are many.
  • Rule:  Singular words require a singular verb; i.e., each, each one, neither, either, everybody, everyone, nobody, anyone, someone, somebody and no one.
  • Example: Each of these shells is unique.  Everybody reads her books.
  • Rule: Nouns such as civics, dollars, measles, news and mathematics require singular verbs.
  • Example: The news is on at 10:00 P.M.  Note: The word dollars is different.  If referring to an amount of money, a singular verb is required; when specifically discussing dollars, use a plural verb.  Examples: It cost me nine dollars for her book in paperback.  The dollars were flying all over the beach.
  • Rule: Nouns like tweezers, trousers, scissors and shears require a plural verb.
  • Example: These trousers are too long and drag in the surf.

Can you share any simpler tips to get the subject/verb agreement job done right?