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Beginner (1)

Elementary (2) (PECE)

Pre-intermediate (3) (JSC)

Intermediate (4) (SSC)

Upper-intermediate (5( (HSC)

Advanced (6)(University)

                     SUBJECT VERB AGREEMENT


The subject and the verb must agree in number: both must be singular or both must be plural. Students have problems with subject verb agreement when the verb is a form of be or have, or when the verb is in present tense.


Rules for subject verb agreement


1.When words like the following are used as subjects, they take singular verb.


Everybody       Anybody          Somebody        Nobody            Each

Everyone         Anyone                             Someone       No one             Either

Everything       Anything          Something        Nothing            Neither

Everybody knows the answer.

Nobody speaks German here.

Somebody was in the room.


2. When every and each come before a singular subject joined by and, the verb is singular.


Every man and woman has the right to vote.

Each student and teacher was aware of the difficulty.


3. Prepositional phrases that come between the subject and the verb do not change the number of the subject.


The teacher as well as the students was working on the problem.

The mother together with her children is waiting.


Some examples of prepositional phrases that function like that are:

As well as

In addition to

Together with

Along with



4. When the verb comes before the subject as in there or here sentences, it agrees with the subject that immediately follows the verb.


There is a tree in the garden.

There are many trees in the garden.

There is a pine tree and some oaks in the garden.


There goes the cat.

There seems to be a relationship.

There arise problems.

There arises a problem.


5.“Introductory it” is always singular.


It is my sister who works in the hospital.

It is my cats which cause the trouble.


6.Subjects joined by and take a plural verb (except for number 2).


My sister and brother live in Berlin.

Both the teacher and the student were surprised.


7.Several, many, both, few are plural words and take a plural verb.


Both are happy with the grades they got.

Many were lost on the way.

Few have done their homework.


8.Some nouns are always plural and always take a plural verb.


  • Trousers, pants, slacks, shorts, briefs, jeans

  • Glasses, sunglasses

  • Scissors, pliers, tweezers


My jeans are old.

This year shorts are in fashion.

Where are my scissors?


9.Some words such as none, any, all, more, most, some, majority, half may take either singular or plural verbs depending on the meaning.


All the money has been spent.

All of the students know the answer.


10.When subjects are joined by words such as neither, either, not only the verb must agree with the closer subject.


Either the man or his wife knows the answer.

Either the man or his friends know the answer.

Either the children or the man knows the answer.


11.Collective nouns are usually singular when regarded as a unit.


My family lives in Ankara.

Our team has won every game this year.


Sometimes when the members are seen as functioning independently, these collective nouns may be plural.


My family have a lot of money.  (members of my family)

Our team are working hard to win every game they play. (teammembers)


·        Some collective nouns in this group are:

Family, team, crew, class, government, committee


12.Some nouns have the same singular and plural form. They take singular or plural verb depending on the meaning.


This species of monkeys lives only in India.

There are many species of monkeys.


· Some nouns in this group are:

Species, series, deer, fish, sheep


13.Expressions stating amount of time, money, weight, volume are plural in form but take a singular verb as in:


Three weeks is a long time.

Two hundred dollars is a lot of money.


14.Some nouns look plural with –s but they take a singular verb.














 Maths is found difficult by many students.

Statistics requires complicated methods.


15Generic references with the require plural verb.


The rich are not always happy.

The young like to listen to loud music.

The old hate loud music.

The English are distant and the French are humorous.


16.Note the use of foreign plurals.


Singular           Plural

Analysis             Analyses

Thesis              Theses

Crisis Crises


Basis                            Bases

Parenthesis                   Parentheses

Curriculum                   Curricula

Memorandum               Memoranda

Datum                          Data

Bacterium                     Bacteria

Medium                        Media

Criterion                       Criteria

Phenomenon                 Phenomena

Stimulus                       Stimuli

Radius                          Radii

Syllabus                       Syllabi




17.Don’t forget that some common English words have irregular plurals.


Plural   Singular

Child Children

Person  People


18.A relative pronoun takes a singular or plural verb depending on which noun it modifies.


Lisa is one of the students who have passed with an A.   (Many students passed with an A, Lisa is one of them.)

Lisa is the only one of my students who has passed with an A.(Only Lisa passed with an A.)


               Subject-Verb Agreement Worksheet 2.1


  1.  The elevator (works/ work) very well.

  2. The elevators (works/ work) very well.

  3. The study of languages (is/are) very interesting.

  4. Several theories on this subject ({have/ has) been proposed.

  5. The view of these disciplines (vary/ varies) from time to time.

  6. The danger of forest fires (is/are) not to be taken lightly.

  7. The effects of that crime (are/is) likely to be devastating.

  8. The fear of rape and robbery (has/ have) caused many people to flee the cities.

  9. The actress, along with her manager and some friends, (is/ are) going to a party tonight.

  10. Mr. Bobbins, accompanied by his wife and children, (are/ is) arriving tonight.

  11. The actress and her manager (are/ is) going to a party tonight.

  12. Everybody who (have/ has) not purchased a ticket should be in this line.

  13. Something (was/were) under the house.

  14. If either of you (takes/ take) a vacation now, we will not be able to finish the work.

  15. Anybody who (have/ has) lost his ticket should report to the desk.

  16. No problem (is/are) harder to solve than this one.

  17. Nobody (works/ work) harder than John does.

  18. None of the counterfeit money (have/ has) been found.

  19. None of the students (have/has) finished the exam yet.

  20. No example (is/are) relevant to this case.

  21. No examples (is/are) relevant to this case. .

  22. Neither John nor his friends (is/ are) going to the beach today.

  23. Either John or his friends (are/ is) going to the beach today.

  24. Neither John nor Bill     (is/ are) going to the beach today.

  25. Either John or Bill (are/ is) going to the beach today.

  26. Neither Maria nor her friends (are/ is) going to class today.

  27. Job or George (is/ are) bringing the car.

  28. Neither the boys nor Carmen (have/ has) seen this movie before.

  29. Neither the director nor the secretary (want/ wants) to leave yet.

  30. Knowing her (has/ have) made him what he is.

  31. Dieting (are/ is) very popular today.

  32. Not studying (has/ have) caused him many problems.

  33.  Washing with a special cream (is/ are) recommended for scalp infections.

  34. Being cordial (is/ are) one of his greatest assets.

  35. Writing many letters (make/ makes) her happy.

  36. The majority (believes/ believe) that we are in no danger.

  37. The majority of the students (believes /believe) him to be innocent.

  38. The committee has met, and it (has/have) rejected the proposal.

  39. The family (have/ has) elated by the news.

  40. The crowd (was/ were) wild with excitement.

  41. Congress (has/ have) initiated a new plan to combat inflation.

  42. The organization (have/ has) lost many members this year.

  43. Our team (is/are) going t­­­­o win the game.

  44. The flock of birds (is/ are) circling overhead.

  45. The herd of cattle (are/ is) breaking away.

  46. Sharks (are/is) attacking a school of fish.

  47. Twenty-five dollars (is/ are) too much to pay for that shirt.

  48. Fifty minutes (isn't/ aren't) enough time to finish this test.

  49. Twenty dollars (are/ is) all I can afford to pay for that recorder.

  50. Two miles (are/ is) too much to run in one day.

  51. A number of students (is/ are) going to the class picnic. (a number of = many)

  52. The number of days in a week (is/ are) seven.

  53. A number of the applicants (has/ have) already been, interviewed.

  54. The number of residents who (have/ has) been questioned on this matter is quite small.

  55. The pants (are/ is) in the drawer.

  56. A pair of pants (is/ are) in the drawer.

  57. The pliers (were/ was) on the table.

  58. The pair of pliers (were/ was) on the table.

  59. These scissors (are/is) dull.

  60. This pair of scissors (are/ is) dull.

  61. There (is/ are) a storm approaching.

  62. There (has/have) been a number of telephone calls today.

  63.  There (were/ was) an accident last night.

  64.  There (were/ was) too many people at the party.

  65.  There (has/ have) been an increase in the importation of foreign cars.

  66.  There (were/ was) water on the floor where he fell.

  67.   Many (are/ is) called but few are chosen.

  68. Several people (are / is) unable to attend; the others are all coming.

  69. Some of the firm's capital (is/ are) being earmarked for expansion

  70. Some of the employees (have/ has) returned to work.

  71. Merrill Lunch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith (is/ are) one of the best-known brokerage houses.

  72. Proctor & Gamble (is/ are) a multinational company.

  73. 'Business Letters' (are/ is) a fine book.

  74. 'Better Homes and Gardens' (offers/ offer) helpful redecorating ideas.

  75. It is we who (are/ is) guilty.

  76. Four months (is/ are) a long time between the letters.

  77. Five hundred dollars (are/ is) a reasonable amount.

  78. Three-fifths of the people (have/has) arrived.

  79. Sixty percent of our quota (has l have) been met.

  80. Club Scout dues (is/are) collected every month.

Subject-Verb Agreement Worksheet 2.1 Answer

2. work

3. is

4. have

5. varies

6. is

7. are

8. has

9. is

10. is

11. are

12. has

13. was

14. takes

15. has

16. is

17. works

18. has

19. Have

20. is

21. are

22. are

23. are

24. is

25. is

26. are

27. is

28. has

29. wants

30. has

31. is

32. has

33. is

34. is

35. makes

36. Believes

37. believe

38. has

39. has/

40. was

41. has

42. has

43. is

44. is

45. is

46. are

47. is

48. isn't

49. is

50. is

51. are

52. is

53. have

54. have

55. are

56. is

57. were

58. was

59. are

60. is

61. is

62. have

63. was

64. were

65. has

66. was

67. are

68. are

69. is

70. have

71. is

72. is

73. is

74. offers

75. are

76. is

77. is

78. have

79. has

80. are

                 Subject Verb Agreement Worksheet 3.1

  1. A crowd  ______ gathered in the street.

  2. A knowledge of modern languages ______ essential these days.

  3. A large number of voters still  ______  basis their party allegiance and not the candidate. 

  4. A large number of women _____________ present at the meeting.

  5. A number of children ___________ playing together .

  6. A number of people ______  reported to be missing in the train accident at Joypur.

  7. A pair of shoes  ______  lying in the corner.

  8. A series of lectures _________ been arranged on the subject.

  9. A thousand of rupees _________________ a good sum.

  10. A Verity of pleasing objects ______________ the eye.

  11. All that glitters _________ not gold .

  12. Among all the children in my family, only my son ______ like milk. 

  13. Any boy or girl _______________ it at once.

  14. Bread and butter _________________ a daily diet.

  15. Bread and omelet __ my favourite breakfast. 

  16. Each of these producers ______  his own advantage.

  17. Either boys or girls……………. telling lies.

  18. Either of the boys  ______  a won medal.

  19. Either of the two applicants ________ suitable.

  20. Either Ram or his brother ____________ at fault.

  21. Either you or he ____________________ a lie.

  22. Few students ______  present in the class today.

  23. Fish and chips  ______ not expensive as chicken and rice.

  24. For admission to the Zumba class, every student ______ to fill a registration form. 

  25. Four fives ___________ twenty. Ans: make

  26. He and his brother  ______  absent.

  27. He as well as you ____________ intelligent.

  28. He is one of these men who_________ everything.

  29. Her clothing  ______ waterproof. Ans: is

  30. I am the woman who _________ your help. Ans: seeks

  31. I, who _______________ your friend will help you.

  32. It’s you who ____________ to blame for this. Ans: have

  33. Lamb’s Tales _________ interesting book. Ans: is

  34. Majority of the board members__ with the CEO. 

  35. Many a man _________________ tempted by gold.

  36. Many a student  ______ hard to pass his entrance exam.

  37. Mohan with his friends  ______  caught.

  38. Most of the Indian food items ______ turmeric. 

  39. My four-year stint at the university __ very helpful in my personal growth. was

  40. My spectacles  ______ broken. 

  41. Neither I, nor my mother __ to go out in rain. 

  42. Neither iron nor coal  ______  to be found in that country.

  43. Neither of those officers ___________ efficient.

  44. Neither praise nor blame ___________________ to affect her.

  45. No information__________________ available.

  46. No news ______________ good news.

  47. None but the brave ___________ the fair.

  48. Not one of his lectures _______________ printed.

  49. Not one of these five boys_________ present there.

  50. Not only the manager but the employees too __ a holiday for New Year. 

  51. One of his friends _________ able to speak English fluently.

  52. One of my friends  ______  Masters in Biotechnology. 

  53. One of the boys _______ punished.

  54. Pen and paper  ______ the only items required for writing. 

  55. Politics of US, UK and Russia  ______  vastly different from each other.

  56. Population growth in addition to other problems  ______  badly affected India’s growth.

  57. Q1. A group of students ______ stopped from entering the college. 

  58. Rahul and Richa plan to get married in summer but Richa’s family__ it to happen in winter. 

  59. Raman as well as his friends ______ won the prize.

  60. Raman as well as you ______ won the prize.

  61. Seema and Nidhi __ go to school everyday. 

  62. Seven years  ______  a long time to live away from home. 

  63. Seventy kilometres  ______ a long distance.

  64. Slow and steady _____________ the race.

  65. Some honey________________ left on the pot.

  66. Ten miles ______  long distance.

  67. That she is alive ______ good news.

  68. The assembly  ______ divided on this issue.

  69. The blind ___________________ escorts to cross road.

  70. The boy or his friends ___________________ to repair the broken window.

  71. The cost of all these articles __________ risen.

  72. The council ______________ today in townhall.

  73. The country side _________________ are very beautiful in spring.

  74. The economics of this country __ to be in a disarray. 

  75. The football team __ new workout regime and equipment. 

  76. The furniture in his house ______  impressive.

  77. The general as well as his staff ____________ there.

  78. The king with all his ministers ________ killed.

  79. The level of intoxication ______  from subject to subject.

  80. The local hockey team  ______  disqualified from the annual tournament for cheating. 

  81. The majority of people  ______  watching games to playing games.

  82. The military  ______  called out.

  83. The news ______________ true.

  84. The number of scholarships ______________ increased this year.

  85. The number of students in our class _______________ increasing day by day.

  86. The police (is/are) chasing the burglar.

  87. The political party, which is in majority in the parliament, ______ support from the Opposition on important bills. 

  88. The quality of the mangoes _____________ not good.

  89. The secretary and treasurer _____________ a walk every morning.

  90. The United States _____ a rich and powerful country.

  91. The wages of sin ___________ death.

  92. There  ______ a plenty of job opportunities for the people of this region.

  93. There  ______ plenty of room for improvement in her work.

  94. This year every student  ______ that the school will reopen. 

  95. Tim is the only student who  ______ completed the project on time.

  96. Time and tide ______ for none.

  97. Tina and Mary ______ were playing in the mud right now.

  98. Two slices of toast and coffee ______ my daily breakfast. 

  99. Two thirds of the city ___________________ in ruin.

  100. What he said _______________ concern me.

  101. Which one of these books ___________ yours.

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