chomp! chomp! This presentation is brought to you by Grammar Bytes!, ©2015 by Robin L. Simmons. Subject-Verb Agreement Do I need an s at the end of the verb? Or should I leave the s off? This presentation covers maintaining agreement between subjects and verbs. A subject-verb agreement item on an objective test might look like this ... Sample Item The foods that provide provide good goodnutrition nutritionisare is A BB often the least tasty; a hamburger and fries, on the other hand, satisfy satisfy the thetongue tonguebut but C clog the arteries. Does A. B. C. D. Is needs to be disagreement the plural are, happen at which option B provide, is, or fixes. satisfy? provides are satisfies No change is necessary. Agreement in a Nutshell The elephant trumpets for a peanut. elephant = singular subject trumpets = singular verb The elephants trumpet for peanuts. elephants = plural subject trumpet = plural verb In the present tense, singular verbs end in the suffix s; plural verbs do not. Two [or mor e] singular nouns joined by and make a plur al subject. The chicken wing and pork rib sit untouched on Ruth’s plate. Because there’s no s at the end of sit, you know it’s a plural verb. W hen each or ever y pr ecedes two [or mor e] singular nouns joined by and , you have a singular subject. Every chicken wing and pork rib sits untouched on Ruth’s plate. Because there is an s at the end of sit, you know it’s a singular verb. I n t h i s s i t u at i o n , n o m at t e r how m any s i n g u l a r n o u n s yo u join with and, the subject is sti l l s i n g u l a r. Every chicken wing, pork rib, slice of pepperoni pizza, hotdog, hamburger, steak, and fried shrimp sits untouched on Ruth’s plate. X X X X X X I’m a vegetarian! Use caution with these three c o n j u n c t i o n s : ei ther … or , nei ther … nor , a n d not onl y … but al s o . Not only the boss employees but also buther also their boss wish employees wishes the shift thewould shift would end. end. the wish shift would end. You’ll If youhave flip two the two subjects, subjects, but so only that theemployees closer one—in is next this to the case verb, boss then wish — counts will work! ! T hese indefinite pr onouns ar e always singular [even w hen they seem plur al]. Each, either, neither Anyone, anybody, anything Everyone, everybody, everything No one, nobody, nothing Someone, somebody, something Everyone on Earth = more than one person—billions of people, in fact. The word everyone, however, is still singular. Bewar e inter r upting phr ases. As well as Along with Together with Including In addition to Especially The squirrel as well as the pigeons keep keeps an eyeeye an on on Sammy, Sammy, thethe sneaky sneaky cat.cat. Bad kitty! This sentence might sound right, but it is completely wrong! Bewar e inver ted wor d or der. Here is are onions you need chili. thethe onions you need forfor thethe chili. In In the the refrigerator are the jalapeño peppers you refrigerator is the is the jalapeño jalapeño peppers peppers you you might want towant might add.to add. Here and there are never the subjects. Cross through prepositional phrases to find the real subject! Quick Test Directions: In the items that follow, choose the option that corrects an error in the underlined portion(s). If no error exists, choose “No change is necessary.” Show me what you know. Item 1 In the cabinet is is the are the the tools tools tools that that that you you you will will will need need need to toto AA unclog the bathroom sink; I have have found found that that aa B plunger and a prayer often do do the the trick. trick. C A. B. C. D. are has does No change is necessary. Item 2 Here are the books that Thomas and Darlene A need for their research, and here is is the are the the earplugs earplugs earplugs BB that you’ll require once they both doze doze off off in in C boredom and start snoring. A. B. C. D. is are dozes No change is necessary. Item 3 Jasmine and Rodney have have decided decided to to double double the the A number of cupcakes that they are baking since B everyone love love moist loves moist moistcake cake cakeand and andchocolate chocolate chocolatefrosting. frosting. frosting. CC A. B. C. D. has is loves loves No change is necessary. Item 4 Not only those students but also their professor looksforward look look forward forwardto toto the the thefinal final final exam; exam; exam; everyone everyone everyone has has has AA BB exciting vacation plans that start start next next Monday. Monday. C A. B. C. D. looks looks have starts No change is necessary. Item 5 At the pet store, each iguana, mouse, and gerbil tries try try to toto climb climb climb the the the walls walls walls of ofof its itsits glass glass glass cage cage cage while while while AA humans hover hover outside outside like like giant giant predators predators who who are are B C ready to strike. A. B. C. D. tries tries hovers is No change is necessary. Item 6 Tyrone, as well as his cousins, hope hope that hopes that thatGrandma Grandma Grandma AA brings her brings herfamous famousbrownies browniesand andpeach peachpie piethat that B drip with drip with generous generous scoops scoops of of vanilla vanilla ice ice cream. cream. C A. B. C. D. hopes hopes bring drips No change is necessary. Item 7 Either the dogs or the cat sleep sleep on sleeps on onthe the thebed bed bedwhile while while AA everyone is is out; out; Lorraine Lorraine always always finds findsan an B C indentation in the center of her comforter. A. B. C. D. sleeps sleeps are find No change is necessary. Item 8 Meryl, together with her friends Beatrice and Laverne, plans aa daily plans daily trip trip for for ice ice cream, cream, for for these these women women A have discovered have discovered that that the the calories calories is is worth are worth worth seeing seeing seeing B CC Theo scoop their servings with his muscular arms. A. B. C. D. plan has are No change is necessary. Item 9 The scissors are sharp, so neither the cousins nor A Timmy is is allowed allowed to to play play with with them, them, even even when when the the B boys need needs needstoto tofinish finish finishaaaschool school schoolproject. project. project. CC A. B. C. D. is are need need No change is necessary. Item 10 Each fork, spoon, and knife are is scarred scarredfrom fromthe the AA disposal since Drew refuses refusesto tocheck checkthe thedrain drain B before he throws throwsthe theswitch. switch. C A. B. C. D. is is refuse throw No change is necessary. Grammar Bytes! provides additional handouts and exercises on subject-verb agreement. chomp! Go to chompchomp.com ! chomp! The End. Bad kitty!