Syntactic Rules






Syntactic Rules :


A Verb agrees with its Subject in Number and Person.

When the subject of the verb is an infinitive mood or a part of a sentence, the verb should be singular.

To skate is a healthful amusement.

THOU SHALT NOT KILL is a divine command.

But if there are two or more infinitives or parts of sentences, making distinct subjects, then the verb should be plural.

To skate and to play cricket are healthful amusements.

Thou shalt not kill and Thou shalt not steal are divine commands.

When the subject of the verb is a collective noun, the verb should be singular, if the idea expressed by the noun is singular.

The class is large.

But if the idea expressed by the noun is plural, the verb should be plural.

The multitude pursue pleasure as their chief good.

Two or more subjects connected by AND require a verb in the plural.

Socrates and Plato were wise.

Two or more subjects connected by AND if used to express only one person or thing, require a verb in the singular.

That eminent statesman and orator is dead.

Two or more subjects in the singular connected by OR or NOR require a verb in the singular.

Ignorance or prejudice has caused this mistake.

If any one of several subjects connected by OR or NOR is plural, the verb must be plural.

Either he or they were mistaken.

When a verb has subjects of different persons connected by AND the verb agrees with the first person rather than the second and with the second rather than the third.

Be and I shared the peach between us.

SHARED here should be parsed as in the first person.

When a verb has subjects of different persons connected by OR or NOR, the verb agrees in person with the subject nearest to it.

Either thou or I am mistaken.







Syntactic Rules :






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Elementary English Grammar Index