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Practice Questions: Subject- Verb Agreement | English for CLAT PDF Download

Q1: Musicians and performers ___________ often the most appreciated artists.
(a) is
(b) has
(c) are
(d) More than one of the above
Ans: 
(c)
Key Points

  • In English grammar, when we have two or more subjects connected by 'and', we usually use a plural verb.
  • Here, 'musicians and performers' are two different groups mentioned, so the verb 'are' is appropriate.
  • 'Is' is singular and does not agree with the plural subject 'Musicians and performers'.
  • 'Has' is also singular and would not agree with the plural subject.
  • 'Does' is a singular auxiliary verb used for the present simple tense and is not appropriate here as it doesn't fit the structure of the sentence.

Therefore, the correct answer is Option 3.

Q2: Nowhere _________ it state that the company is filing for bankruptcy.
(a) would
(b) do
(c) does
(d) More than one of the above
Ans: 
(c)
Key Points

  • When using 'nowhere' at the beginning of a sentence, it is common to use an inverted word order. The verb comes before the subject.
  • The verb 'does' should be used to fit with the singular subject 'it' and maintain tense consistency.
  • The phrasing should therefore be "Nowhere does it state..." indicating that there is no place in the document where it states that the company is filing for bankruptcy.
    Correct Sentence: Nowhere does it state that the company is filing for bankruptcy.

Therefore, the correct answer is 'Option 3'.

Q3: The peasantry ________ the most vulnerable to climate change impacts.
(a) is
(b) was
(c) are
(d) More than one of the above
Ans:
(c)
Key Points

  • According to subject-verb agreement, a singular subject takes a singular verb and a plural subject takes a plural verb.
    Example: Ram goes to the temple every day.
    She is one of the best artists who have ever lived.
  • There are certain nouns that are singular in form but plural in meaning. Such nouns must take a plural verb.
    • cattle, poultry, peasantry, children, gentry, police, people, cavalry, infantry, etc.
    • Example: The police have caught the thieves.
  • The given sentence is a general fact and so, it should be in the simple present tense.
  • Thus, 'are' is the correct answer.
    Complete sentence: The peasantry are the most vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Q4: Fifty miles ________ a long distance.
(a) are
(b) is
(c) were
(d) quite
Ans: 
(b)
Key Points

  • As the rule says that when a plural noun denotes a specific sum, distance, quantity, time, or period as a whole, it takes a singular verb with it.
    • Example- Two thousand rupees was a large amount fifty years ago.
  • Similarly, in the given sentence, helping verb "is" will be used with "Fifty miles".
  • Hence, option 2 is correct.
    Correct Sentence: Fifty miles is a long distance.

Q5: Unless she ______ done the work to my standards, I ______ her.
(a) will, would not appreciating
(b) have, shall not appreciate
(c) shall, will not appreciated
(d) has, shall not appreciate
Ans: 
(d)
Key Points

  • "Unless" means the same as "if...not."
  • "Unless" is followed by a present tense, a past tense, or a past perfect tense (never by a conditional).
  • Therefore, for the first blank, the subject "she" is a singular pronoun, "has" is the correct answer.
  • "Will, would, and shall" are always followed by the base form of the verb.
  • "Unless" is a conditional word, so we don’t use "will or would" in the subordinate clause.
  • So the options "will, would not appreciating", "have, shall not appreciate" and "shall, will not appreciated" are grammatically incorrect and can be ruled out.
  • Therefore, the correct answer is Option 4.
    Correct sentence: Unless she has done the work to my standards, I shall not appreciate her.

Q6: My friend, a philosopher and guide ______ going abroad.
(a) are
(b) is
(c) am
(d) being
Ans:
(b)
Key Points 

  • The given blank needs a linking verb.
  • To select the correct linking verb from the given options we first need to understand the noun in the given sentence. 
  • 'My friend, a philosopher and guide' represents the same person and hence is a singular noun.
  • To maintain subject-verb agreement we need to use a singular linking verb in the given blank. 
  • Hence, the most appropriate option for the given blank is the singular linking verb 'is'. 
  • So, option 2 is the correct answer.
    Complete sentence: My friend, a philosopher and guide is going abroad.

Q7: The mother, along with her daughter, ______ tennis on Sundays.
(a) has played
(b) have playing
(c) play
(d) plays
Ans: (d)
Key Points   

  • Prepositional phrases such as with, together with, along with, as well as are not part of the subject and, therefore, have no effect on the form of the verb.
  • The verb needs to agree in number only with the subject of the sentence.
    • Example: Mr. Ram, along with his wife Sita and brother, was banished to the forest.
  • Here, the subject is "Mother" which is a singular subject, so according to Subject-Verb agreement, we have to use a singular verb/helping verb with it.
  • Now, since the given sentence shows a habitual action so it must be in the Simple Present Tense.
  • Let us explore the given options:
    • Has played: Present Perfect Tense
    • Have playing: Incorrect structure
    • Play: Simple Present Tense (For plural subject)
    • Plays: Simple Present Tense (For singular subject)
  • So, the correct answer is Option 4.
    Correct sentence: The mother, along with her daughter, plays tennis on Sundays.

Q8: Each of these boys ______ intelligent.
(a) is
(b) were
(c) has
(d) are
Ans: 
(a)
Key Points

  • In a sentence, the verb is used according to person and number.
  • In the case of the following words, the verbs used will be singular:
    • Each, every/everyone, someone/somebody, none/ nobody, one, no one, any, many a, more than one, etc.
  • Example:
    • Everyone are addicted to smartphones nowadays.✖
    • Everyone is addicted to smartphones nowadays.✔
  • The usage of the determiner 'each' suggests that the verb will also be singular i.e. is (the 1st option) in the blank part of the sentence.
    Correct Sentence: Each of these boys is intelligent.

Q9: The President of the United States, accompanied by his advisors, _______ en route to Europe.
(a) were
(b) are
(c) was
(d) both (1) and (3)
Ans: 
(c)
Key Points

  • In the given sentence, the noun subject 'President' is a singular subject.
  • We know that a singular subject always takes a singular verb.
  • From the given options, only the third option 'was' is the first and third-person singular past verb.
    Hence, the correct answer is option 3.
    Complete Sentence: The President of the United States, accompanied by his advisors, was en route to Europe.

Q10: Most children ______ to speak by the age of three.
(a) are learning
(b) learn
(c) learns
(d) More than one of the above
Ans:
(b)
Key Points

  • The subject "most + noun" is a plural subject, so we need a plural verb with it.
    Example: Most people are using email instead of writing letters.
  • So, we need to use the plural verb "learn" with the subject "most children."
  • Therefore, the correct answer is Option 2.
    Correct sentence: Most children learn to speak by the age of three.

Q11: At the end of the tube there ______ two lenses: one which gathers light and the other which magnifies the image.
(a) have been
(b) is
(c) are
(d) are being
Ans: 
(c)
Key Points

  • We can see that the second part of the given sentence is in Present Tense.
  • So, the first part will be in Simple Present tense as it describes a general fact/truth.
  • Now, here we are talking about "two lenses" which is a plural subject.
  • So, according to Subject Verb agreement, we need a plural helping verb "are" with it.
  • Therefore, the correct answer is Option 3.
    Correct sentence: At the end of the tube there are two lenses: one which gathers light and the other which magnifies the image.

Q12: Ram as well as his brothers _________coming today.
(a) are
(b) were
(c) is
(d) have been
Ans:
(c)
Key Points

  • In a sentence, the verb is used according to person and number.
  • If the main subject is followed by the following words/phrasesthe verb will conform to the 1st subject:
    • As well as, and not, in addition to, with/along with/together with, like/unlike, except, nothing but, etc.
  • Example:
    • Bittu, as well as his friends, are playing Cricket.✖
    • Bittu, as well as his friends, is playing Cricket.✔
  • In the blank part of the given question, 'is' will be used as per the rule given above.
    Correct Sentence: Ram as well as his brothers is coming today.

Q13: Everyone in the family ______ been questioned about the theft.
(a) has
(b) have
(c) are
(d) is
Ans: 
(a)
Key Points

  • The most appropriate answer for the given fill in blank is 'has'. 
  • 'Each, every, everyone, someone, somebody, nobody, none, one, any, many a, more than one' are singular in meaning.
  • Therefore, after them 'singular verb, singular noun, singular adjective, and a singular pronoun' is used.
    Example: 
    • Each student have come. ✖ 
    • Each student has come. ✔ 
  • Hence, the correct answer is Option 1.
    Thus, the complete sentence is: Everyone in the family has been questioned about the theft. 

Q14: Fish and rice _______ a staple diet.
(a) is being
(b) is
(c) are being
(d) are
Ans: 
(b)
Key Points

  • "Subject verb agreement" means that a singular subject (He, Raj, star) takes a singular verb (is, goes, shines), whereas a plural subject takes a plural verb.
  • In the given sentence, there are two nouns i.e. "Fish" and "rice."
  • "Fish" is a singular noun whereas "rice" is a mass noun, it has no plural form.
  • If two nouns with 'and' between them are both singular and represent a single person or thing, we'll use ‘is'.
  • Thus, from the above explanation, it is clear that the correct verb to use in the blank is "is."
  • The correct sentence will be: Fish and rice is a staple diet.

Hence, the correct answer is option 2.

Q15: Each of the six boys in the class ____________ his task.
(a) was completed
(b) were completed
(c) has completed
(d) have completed
Ans:
(c)
Key Points

  •  In any given sentence, the subject has to agree with the verb in terms of its number. 
  • If the subject is singular, the verb would also be singular and so on.
  • Even the words and phrases 'each', 'each one', 'either', 'neither', 'everyone', 'anyone', 'anybody', 'somebody', 'someone' and 'no one' are singuar and require a singular verb. 
  • The sentence given above also starts with each so "has completed' would be the appropriate answer as it also indicates possession.
  • Hence, the correct answer is Option 3.
The document Practice Questions: Subject- Verb Agreement | English for CLAT is a part of the CLAT Course English for CLAT.
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