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Rules of Subject-Verb Concord | English Grammar Advanced - Class 10 PDF Download

Subjects and verbs must agree with each other in number for a sentence to make sense. Even though grammar can be a bit quirky from time to time, there are 20 rules of subject-verb concord that sum up the topic quite concisely. Most of the concepts of the subject-verb concord are straightforward, but exceptions to the rules can make it more complicated.
For example, would you say, "They are fun" or "They is fun"? Since "they" is plural, you'd opt for the plural form of the verb, "are".


Rules of Subject-Verb Concord:

1. Subjects and verbs must agree in number. This is the cornerstone rule that forms the background of the concept. Example: The dog growls when he is angry.

2. Subordinate clauses that come between the subject and verb don't affect their agreement. Example: The dog, who is chewing on my jeans, is usually very good.

3. Prepositional phrases between the subject and verb usually do not affect agreement. Example: The colors of the rainbow are beautiful.

4. When sentences start with "there" or "here," the subject will always be placed after the verb. Some care needs to be taken to identify each part correctly. Example: There is a problem with the balance sheet.

5. Subjects don't always come before verbs in questions. Make sure you accurately identify the subject before deciding on the proper verb form to use. Example: Where are the pieces of this puzzle?

6. If two subjects are joined by "and," they typically require a plural verb form. Example: The cow and the pig are jumping over the moon.

7. The verb is singular if the two subjects separated by "and" refer to the same person or thing as a whole. Example: Red beans and rice is my mom's favorite dish.

8. If one of the words "each," "every," or "no" comes before the subject, the verb is singular. Example: No smoking or drinking is allowed.

9. If the subjects are both singular and are connected by the words "or," "nor," "neither/nor," "either/or," or "not only/but also," the verb is singular. Example: Either Jessica or Christian is to blame for the accident.

10. The only time the object of the preposition decides plural or singular verb forms is when noun and pronoun subjects like "some," "half," "none," "more," or "all" are followed by a prepositional phrase. Then the object of the preposition determines the form of the verb. Example: All of the chicken is gone.

11. The singular verb form is usually reserved for units of measurement or time. Example: Four quarts of oil was required to get the car running.

12. If the subjects are both plurals and are connected by the words "or," "nor," "neither/nor," "either/or," or "not only/but also," the verb is plural. Example: Not only dogs but also cats are available at the animal shelter.

13. If one subject is singular and the other is plural, and the words are connected by the words "or," "nor," "neither/nor," "either/or," or "not only/but also," use the verb form of the subject that is nearest the verb. Example: Either the bears or the lion has escaped from the zoo.

14. Indefinite pronouns typically take singular verbs (with some exceptions). Example: Everybody wants to be loved.

15. The exceptions to the above rule include the pronouns "few," "many," "several," "both," "all," and "some." These always take the plural form. Example: Few were left alive after the flood.

16. If two infinitives are separated by "and," they take the plural form of the verb. Example: To walk and to chew gum require great skill.

17. When gerunds are used as the subject of a sentence, they take the singular form of the verb. However, when they are linked by "and," they take the plural form. Example: Standing in the water was a bad idea.

18. A collective noun, such as "team" or "staff," can be either singular or plural depending upon the rest of the sentence. Typically, they take the singular form, as the collective noun is treated as a cohesive single unit. Example: The herd is stampeding.

19. Titles of books, movies, novels, and other similar works are treated as singular and take a singular verb. Examples: The Burbs is a movie starring Tom Hanks.

20. Final rule: Remember, only the subject affects the verb! Nothing else matters. Example: Jacob, who owns sixteen houses, is on his way to becoming a billionaire.

The document Rules of Subject-Verb Concord | English Grammar Advanced - Class 10 is a part of the Class 10 Course English Grammar Advanced.
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FAQs on Rules of Subject-Verb Concord - English Grammar Advanced - Class 10

1. What is subject-verb agreement in English grammar?
Ans. Subject-verb agreement refers to the grammatical rule that states that the subject of a sentence must agree with the verb in terms of number and person. In simpler terms, a singular subject requires a singular verb, while a plural subject requires a plural verb.
2. How do I determine the subject and verb agreement in a sentence?
Ans. To determine the subject and verb agreement in a sentence, identify the subject (the noun or pronoun that performs the action) and the verb (the action or state of being). Ensure that they match in terms of number and person. For example, if the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular.
3. What are some common subject-verb agreement errors to avoid?
Ans. Some common subject-verb agreement errors include: 1. Using a singular verb with a plural subject or vice versa. 2. Ignoring the subject and agreeing the verb with a word that is closer in proximity. 3. Failing to recognize subject-verb agreement in sentences with compound subjects or inverted word order. 4. Mistaking collective nouns for singular subjects and using a singular verb instead of a plural verb.
4. Can subject-verb agreement be affected by intervening phrases or clauses?
Ans. Yes, subject-verb agreement can be affected by intervening phrases or clauses. It is important to identify the subject and verb correctly, even if there are additional words or phrases between them. These intervening elements do not change the agreement between the subject and verb.
5. Are there any exceptions to the subject-verb agreement rule?
Ans. Yes, there are a few exceptions to the subject-verb agreement rule. Some examples include: 1. Indefinite pronouns like "everyone" or "everyone" are always considered singular and should be paired with a singular verb. 2. Some collective nouns can be considered singular or plural, depending on the context. For example, "the team is" (singular) or "the team are" (plural) may both be correct, depending on how the team is viewed.
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