Discovering the Intricacies of Subject Verb Agreement

Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental rule of grammar that dictates the proper matching of subjects and verbs in a sentence. However, there are several exceptions to this rule that can confuse even the most seasoned writers. In this article, we will explore some of these exceptions and delve into the fascinating world of subject-verb agreement.

Exception 1: Collective Nouns

When a collective noun refers to a group acting as a single unit, the verb can be singular. For example, “The team is playing well” and “The committee has made its decision.”

Exception 2: Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns like “each,” “everyone,” and “nobody” are singular and require singular verbs. For instance, “Each of the students has completed the assignment” and “Everybody knows the answer.”

Exception 3: Expressions of Quantity

Expressions of quantity such as “a lot of,” “a majority of,” and “a number of” can be either singular or plural, depending on the noun they refer to. For example, “A lot of the cake has been eaten” and “A number of people have arrived.”

Exception 4: Titles, Words, and Phrases

When a title, word, or phrase follows “the only,” “the greatest,” “the best,” or similar expressions, the verb can be singular. For instance, “The only thing that matters is love” and “The best places to visit are in Europe.”

Exception 5: Plural Form with Singular Meaning

Some nouns that are plural in form but singular in meaning, such as “mathematics,” “physics,” and “news,” take singular verbs. For example, “Mathematics is my favorite subject” and “The news is shocking.”

Exception 6: Titles of Works

When referring to the title of a work, the verb should match the form of the title, even if it is plural. For example, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a classic novel” and “The Beatles were a legendary band.”

Exception 7: Relative Pronouns

When a relative pronoun introduces a dependent clause, the verb should agree with the antecedent of the pronoun. For instance, “One of the students who is attending the seminar is my friend” and “The woman who lives next door is a doctor.”

Exception 8: Neither…Nor Either…Or

When using “neither…nor” “either…or,” verb should agree closer subject. For example, “Neither the teacher nor the students are happy” and “Either the movie or the book is good.”

Exception 9: Intervening Phrases

When phrase comes subject verb, verb should match subject, not noun phrase. For instance, “The book, along with the pen, is on the table” and “The team, as well as the coach, is celebrating.”

Exception 10: There and Here

When the subjects “there” or “here” are followed by a singular noun, the verb should be singular. For example, “There is a problem with the computer” and “Here comes the bus.”

Subject-verb agreement is a vital aspect of writing that enhances clarity and comprehension. Understanding the exceptions to this rule can help writers navigate the intricacies of the English language with confidence and skill.

 

Exceptions to Subject-Verb Agreement Contract

This contract is entered into on this [date] by and between the parties listed below:

Party A: [Insert Name]
Party B: [Insert Name]

Whereas, Party A and Party B desire to establish the exceptions to subject-verb agreement, this contract sets forth the terms and conditions related to this subject.

1. Exceptions Subject-Verb Agreement
1.1. In cases where the subject and the verb are separated by phrases such as “as well as,” “along with,” “together with,” the verb will agree with the subject closest to the verb.
1.2. In instances where collective nouns are used to refer to a group as a single entity, the verb will be singular. For example, “The jury was unable to reach a verdict.”
1.3. When indefinite pronouns are used as the subject, the verb will be singular. For example, “Each of the applicants was asked to submit their resume.”
1.4. In the case of compound subjects connected by “and,” if the subjects refer to the same person or thing, the verb will be singular. For example, “The singer and guitarist is performing tonight.”

This contract constitutes the entire agreement between the parties and supersedes all prior and contemporaneous agreements, representations, and understandings of the parties. This contract may be amended only in writing and signed by both parties. This contract shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of [State/Country].

 

Top 10 Legal Questions about Exceptions to Subject Verb Agreement

Question Answer
1. Can collective nouns take a singular or plural verb? Collective nouns can take either a singular or plural verb, depending on the context in which they are used. For example, “The team is winning” uses a singular verb, whereas “The team are arguing” uses a plural verb.
2. What about phrases like “a number of” and “a variety of”? Phrases like “a number of” and “a variety of” are considered plural, so they take a plural verb. For example, “A number of students are attending the event.”
3. Do compound subjects always take a plural verb? Not always. In some cases, compound subjects are considered singular and take a singular verb. For example, “Bread and butter is my favorite snack.”
4. How does the word “none” affect subject verb agreement? The word “none” can take either a singular or plural verb, depending on the context and the noun it is referring to. For example, “None of the cake was eaten” uses a singular verb, while “None of the students were present” uses a plural verb.
5. Can indefinite pronouns like “everyone” and “someone” take a plural verb? Indefinite pronouns like “everyone” and “someone” are considered singular and take a singular verb. For example, “Everyone is going to the party.”
6. How do phrases like “along with” and “as well as” affect subject verb agreement? Phrases like “along with” and “as well as” do not change the number of the subject, so the verb should agree with the original subject. For example, “The teacher, along with her students, is attending the conference.”
7. When do titles and names take a singular verb? Titles and names take a singular verb when they refer to a single entity, organization, or person. For example, “The United Nations is an international organization.”
8. Can “none” and “all” ever take a singular verb? Yes, in some cases, “none” and “all” can take a singular verb when they refer to a singular noun. For example, “All of the cake was eaten.”
9. How does the word “each” impact subject verb agreement? The word “each” is always singular, so it takes a singular verb. For example, “Each of the students is responsible for their own work.”
10. What are some other exceptions to subject verb agreement? Other exceptions include phrases like “more than one” (singular verb), “the only one” (singular verb), and “half of” (singular or plural verb depending on the noun it refers to).

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