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Rule 1

The pronouns “You” and “I” always take a plural verb.

1. I review my lessons a week before the examination.
2. You make my life complete.

Rule 2

If a sentence begins with “Here” and “There” , the verb

agrees with the subject which follows it.

1. a. There is a cellphone in my bag.
b. Here is the paper you requested.

2. a. There are interesting stories in this book.

b. Here are the gifts you have given me when we
are still together.

Rule 3

If two subjects, one single and one plural, are connected by

“Either/or” or “Neither/nor”, the verb agress with the
nearer subject.

1. a. Either Tom or his friends have taken the ball.
b. Either his friends or Tom has taken the ball.

2. a. Neither Jerry nor his colleagues are going to

the beach.
b. Neither the boys nor Maria joins the party.
Rule 4

A singular subject followed by intervening words or

phrase with, As well as, In addition to, accompanied by,
Together with takes a singular verb.

1. Joshua, together with his classmates, is going to
2. Liver failure, in addition to massive hepatic
enlargement, was not described in HIV-positive

Rule 5

Singular subjects joined by and require a plural verb,

except when they mean one thing.

1. The cow and the pig are jumping over the moon.
2. Red beans and rice is my favorite dish.

Rule 6

Two singular subjects joined by either/or or neither/nor

take a singular verb.

1. Either Maria or Mario has the cellphone.
2. Neither Fe nor Felix joins the parade.
Rule 7

If a singular subject is followed by a phrase continuing a

plural noun, the verb is singular.

1. One of the participants is reviewing well.
2. One of the students is joining the election.

Rule 8

The indefinite pronouns several, few, both, many, others

are always plural.

1. Many are joining the search for Miss Universe.
2. Few of the students are participating in the

Rule 9

The indefinite pronouns some, most, all, none are singular

or plural according to the meaning of the sentence.

1. None of the pie was eaten.
2. None of the children were hungry.
Rule 10

When any of the following indefinite pronoun is the

subject, the verb is singular: everybody, each, no one,
another, anybody, nobody, every, nothing, everything,
anyone, either, neither, everyone, somebody, someone

1. Someone is willing to wait for you.
2. Everybody dances with the music.

Rule 11

Expressions of time, money, weight, and distance are

singular even if the form is plural.

1. 75 kilograms of rice is very heavy to carry.
2. One million pesos is the reward money.

Rule 12

When the amount of money refers to separate units, the

verb is plural.

1. Six 50-centavo coins were added to his savings.
2. Fifty 200-peso bills were given to the poor.
Rule 13

The following words are always plural: pants, trousers,

pliers, scissors, shears, tongs. However if the word pair is
used then the verb is singular.

1. The scissors are dull.
2. This year shorts are in fashion.

Rule 14

Certain nouns, though plural in form, are singular in

meaning and therefore take singular verbs.

1. The news is on at 6:30.
2. Measles is spreading again because children are
not vaccinated.

Rule 15

When the word is preceded by A, it takes a plural verb.

When it is preceded by The, it takes a singular verb.

1. A number of participants are complaining
2. The number of participants is not complete yet.
Rule 16

When fractions are used, the verb agrees with the object of
the of phrase.

1. One-third of his brother’s age is his age now.
2. Two-thirds of the students are satisfied with the

Rule 17

These nouns may be singular or plural in meaning. . .

Athletics, Genetics, etc. . . When the noun refers to an
organized activity it is singular, when the noun refers to
the activities of individuals with a group or to varied
activities, it is plural.

1. Athletics provide good recreation.
2. Economics is an important subject for every field of

Rule 18

The name of a country is always regarded as singular.

1. China is helping our country.
2. Japan has been awarded as one of the safest
Rule 19

Adjectives used as means are considered plural.

1. The old hate loud music.
2. The young like to listen to loud music.

Rule 20

Collective nouns may be singular or plural depending on

whether the individual members are acting individually
or collectively. These nouns are company or group, etc.

1. The comittee participate in various volunteer
activities in their private lives.
2. The committee agrees on the quality of the

Rule 21

In the use of mathematical expressions, the following are


1. Sixteen times a number is five.
2. The product of sixteen and a number is twelve.
Rule 22

Titles of books, plays, articles, movie, etc are regarded as

singular even if the words in the title may be plural.

1. The Grapes of Wrath takes a long time to read.
2. The Shiva Trilogy is a best seller.

Rule 23

Names of organizations takes a singular verb when the

whole organization is referred to and a plural verb when
the members are referred to

1. Mudra and corporation have retained the
goodwill of their customers.
2. Lopez and Sons is a successful organization.

Rule 24

If a sentence begins with the expletive “it” the verb is

always singular even if the subject that follows the verb is

1. It is the schools which must assume the
2. It is us who must take care of the environment.
Subject Verb Agreement
Joshua Q. Calegan