Verb Notes-1 [Level-6]

Verb Notes-1 [Level-6]


Subject - verb agreement:

Singular subject - singular verb

Plural subject - plural verb

for 3rd person only with simple present tense verbs


The man goes to office by bus. (3rd person singular subject - singular verb)

The men go to office by bus. (3rd person plural subject - plural verb)


Rule #1:

Nouns like food, clothing, furniture or stationery are taken as singular and so the verb will always be singular.


  1. The food is hot.


  1. The furniture needs repair.


Rule #2:

“A pair of socks/jeans/trousers” = singular subject. So, verb = singular.


  1. This pair of socks looks old.


  1. Your new pair of jeans is washed.


Rule #3:

‘A lot of’ / ‘plenty of’ - uncountable nouns - the verb is singular.

‘A lot of’ / ‘plenty of’ - countable nouns - the verb is plural. Examples:

  1. A lot of milk needs to be bought today.


  1. A lot of children are coming to the party.


  1. Plenty of wheat was needed for the bread.


  1. Plenty of mangoes were needed for the juice.


Rule #4:

‘Much’ - ‘a little’ - ‘news’ always take the singular verb while ‘people’ - ‘police’ - ‘cattle’ are always considered as plural and so will take the plural form of the verb.


  1. Much has been said about the new film.


  1. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.


  1. Political news always comes first.


  1. The police have caught the thief.


  1. People are cheering on the home team.


Rule #5:

When the sentence starts with 'There' the verb will agree with the actual subject of the sentence.


  1. There is a chair in the garden. (chair - singular subject)


  1. There are many chairs in the garden. (chairs - plural subject)


Rule #6:

When words like ‘one of - ‘each’ - ‘either’ - ‘neither’ - ‘everyone’ are used in the subject, the verb which follows is always singular.


  1. One of the girls is not well.


  1. Everyone is going to the party.


  1. Each of the children wants new books.


Rule #7:

When two subjects are joined with "as well as" or "with" the verb will always agree with the number of the first noun (subject):


  1. The teacher, with all the boys, is coming here.


  1. The students as well as the teacher are coming here.


Rule #8:

If the subjects are taken as one unit then the verb will be singular. Collective nouns are also considered as a single unit and hence the verb that follows will always be singular.


  1. Bread and butter tastes good. (one unit)


  1. The new cup and saucer has broken. (one unit)


  1. The team of cricketers has arrived. (team - collective noun)


  1. There is an army of ants in the kitchen. (army - collective noun)


Rule #9:

If the two subjects refer to the one and the same noun the verb that follows is always singular:


  1. Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the first lady prime minister and the iron lady of India was very popular.


Rule #10:

If the subject and the following verb are separated by some words, then the verb must agree with the number of the subject.


  1. The student, carrying books, is late for school. (student - singular. is - singular)


  1. Those girls, wearing blue frocks, look very pretty. (girls - plural. Look - plural)


Rule #11:

Even if the name of a country, a book, a film, etc. is denoted by a plural noun, the verb which follows will always be singular.


  1. The United States of America has got a new president.


  1. "Gulliver's Travels" was written by Jonathan Swift.


Rule #12:

When a plural number is used for distance, weight and amounts of money as a single figure, it is regarded as a singular subject and hence the verb that will follow will take the singular form.


  1. Three years is a long time to stay away from home.


  1. Five thousand rupees has been donated for the children's welfare.

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