Subject and Verb agreement

We have seen how the Subject and Verb agreement in a sentence is must.

Here we can see few more rules which govern the agreement between the Verb and the Subject.

1. Two nouns qualified by ‘each’ or ‘every’, even though connected by and, require only a singular verb.


• Every boy and every girl is given the admission ticket to the show.

In this sentence, the Subject is ‘Every boy and every girl’. Although this Subject contains two nouns and they are connected by the conjunction ‘and’, we have to use only a singular verb ‘is’, because the subject implies every one of all the students.


• Every man and every woman was given a packet of sweets.

In this sentence also, the Subject is treated as singular, so the verb is also singular.

You see how in this sentence Subject-and-Verb-agreement is perfect.


• Every teacher and every student has got his share of the balance amount.

• Every boy and every girl in this class has applied for TOEFL.

• Every man and every woman has come forward to donate some money to this organization.

2. Few nouns which are plural in form but singular in meaning take only the singular verb.


• The news is not true.

• The wages of sin is pains.

• Mathematics is a branch of study in every school.

• Economics is a scientific subject.

You see how in these sentences Subject-and-Verb-agreement is perfect.

3. The Subjects ‘pains’ and ‘means’ take either singular or plural verb. But the construction should be consistent.


• Great pains have been taken to complete this project.

• Great pains has been taken to complete this project.

Both these sentences are correct forms but when you use a particular form, you have to use that form consistently throughout the particular writing.

• The means to rich is a not a secret.

• The means to rich are not secrets.

4. When a plural noun denotes a specific quantity or amount considered as a whole, the verb is generally singular.


• Fifteen minutes is not sufficient.

• Ten kilometers is a long distance.

• Fifty thousands dollars is not a small salary per month.

• Three parts of the project is left to me.

You see how in these sentences Subject-and-Verb-agreement is perfect.

5. The Verb in the Subordinate Clause:


• India is one of the few countries which have their own traditions.

Do you think this sentence is a correct one?

The Subordinate Clause in this sentence takes plural verb while the Main Clause takes only a singular verb. Because the Subject of the Subordinate Clause ‘which’ here means only the word ‘countries’ which comes before it. So, the Subordinate Clause takes a plural verb.

This sentence is correct one.


• Is you brother one of the two hundred people who have become the members of this organization?

• This is one of those novels that deal with drug abuse.

• Ramanujam is one of the greatest mathematicians who have ever lived.


• The neighbor, with his wife and children, is watching the football match on television.

• Neither my bank balance nor the amount I borrowed is sufficient to meet the expenditure.

• Not one in hundred seeds develops into a healthy plant.

• The number of poisonous snakes in not known.

• A good college record as well a good score in GMAT is required for admission in MBA.

• Not only an excellent preparation but also very good presentation in TOEFL is must to score more marks in it.

• Neither of these two movies was rated as outstanding, but each had an absorbing story.

• A large percentage of college students were absent on the annual day.

You see how in these sentences Subject-and-Verb-agreement is perfect.

Go to the Advanced English Index to continue