Rule No 1. Singular subject must have plural verb.
Rule No 2. Plural subject must have singular verb.
Rule No 3. Two subjects joined by ‘and’ will always take a plural verb.
The doctor and nurse work together.
Rule No 4. If two subjects express one idea, use a singular verb.
Bread and butter is a wholesome food.
Soup and salad is too light a lunch.
Rule No 5. Two singular subjects joined by ‘or’ or ‘nor’ will take a singular verb.
A doctor or a nurse is working in the hospital.
Rule No 6. A singular subject and a plural subject joined by ‘or’, ‘either-or’, ‘neither- nor’, ‘none but’, ‘not only but also’; will take a singular or plural verb depending on, which subject is near the verb:
Neither Deepak nor his friends are joining the tour.
Neither his friends nor Deepak is joining the tour.
None but the leaders of our country are responsible for this.
Rule No 7. If two subjects are joined together by ‘as well as’, ‘with’, ‘along with’, ‘together with’, ‘besides’, ‘in addition to’, ‘and not’, ‘rather than’, the verb will act according to the main subject:
Students as well as the teacher are playing.
He as well as his brothers is sitting there.
I as well as he am going out of station for a week.
Rule No 8. Indefinite pronouns such as someone, somebody, no body, one, no one, everyone, everybody, either, neither, etc. always take a singular verb.
Each of my friend calls me once a month.
Each boy and each girl has come.
One must tolerate one‘s friend as well as enemy.
Rule No 9. Indefinite plural pronouns (several, all, few, both and many) always take plural verbs:
Both of the books require careful reading.
Several of the fielders regularly run four or five kilometer a day.
Rule No 10. Title of the books need singular verbs:
‘Great expectations’ is a good book.
‘Gulliver Travels’ is an interesting book.
Rule No 11. The subject ‘Many a’ …… is always followed by the singular verb.
Many a man was drowned in the sea.
Many a student has not done his home work.
Rule No 12. If the subject is ‘the number of’..…use a singular verb.
The number of books is very small
The number of boys in this team is ten.
Rule No 13. If the subject begins with ‘A number of’, (A large number of, A Great number of, many) use a plural verb:
A number of books are missing.
Rule No. 14. Some nouns in the plural form represent an amount, a fraction or an element of time (sum, distance, quantity, and time period) are considered singular and hence take singular verbs.
Sixty minutes is enough to finish this work.