Subject Verb Agreement

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Welcome to ROPE’s Business Apprenticeship Professional INSTITUTE: 

Welcome to ROPE’s Business Apprenticeship Professional INSTITUTE English Grammar Session 4 Section 1

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Objective: To equip the student with a working understanding of the mechanics of the English language both written and spoken Duration: The session shall take approximately 45 minutes to complete. Navigation: Please review the navigation information on the next slide since it is extremely important to know how to move around the course. Again Welcome

Navigation: 

There are three navigational features on each slide and they can be found by passing your arrow over the lower left segment of the slide. Forward arrow – Advances to the next slide Back Arrow – Goes back to the previous slide Pause - Allows you to either pause the slide or play it forward again Selection- Allows you to select which slide you want to go to Navigation

SOURCE MATERIAL: 

All source material for the course is taken from Capital Community College . ROPE acknowledges their lawful ownership. This material will be used like a textbook and it’s content will be taught by a certified BAPI instructor. None of the material will be resold for profit. SOURCE MATERIAL

Please Take notes: 

Please Take notes If you do not have paper and pencil please stop the video and obtain some now. It is extremely important that you take very good notes. If you are ready Let’s get started

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Welcome to the PowerPoint Presentation on Subject-Verb Agreement, the Sore Thumb of grammar!

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A singular subject demands a singular verb; a plural subject demands a plural verb. That is the simple principle behind subject-verb agreement . This presentation will explore some of the difficulties we have with subject-verb agreement and provide some notes about avoiding agreement problems in our own writing. Hyperlinks to the Guide to Grammar and Writing are provided in this color. Links between subjects and verbs will be shown with red lines.

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Indefinite pronouns such as everyone and everybody feel plural to some writers, but they are always singular — and take a singular verb. Everyone associated with the project is proud to be part of the effort. Someone has to be responsible. Don’t be confused by phrases that come between the subject pronoun and its verb — phrases that may contain plural words. Each of the project partners is responsible for writing a chapter summary.

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The verb that accompanies pronouns such as all and some will be determined by whether the pronoun is referring to something that is COUNTABLE or not. Some of the students in the cafeteria have voted already. Some of the grain was ruined by the flood. “Students” is countable, but we cannot count “the grain”; it is one lump, one quantity. None is usually regarded as singular, but it can be used as a plural pronoun. None of the representatives has indicated how he or she will vote. OR None of the representatives have indicated how they will vote.

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With fractional expressions (fractions or decimal equivalents), the verb will be determined by what is being measured: is it COUNTABLE or not. Two-fifths of the grain is ruined. One-half of the students were convinced that there would be no final exams this year. Of all the returns we have counted so far, fifty percent are in favor of the referendum. A majority of the student body is in favor of asking the Dean to stay another year.

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Phrases such as together with, along with , and as well as seem to join subjects, but they do not work the same as and : they are not conjunctions. Some of the hay in the barn, as well as some major pieces of farm equipment, was ruined in the flood. The major spending bill before Congress, together with some other bills that are awaiting action, is going to cost taxpayers plenty.

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In formal writing, when either and neither appear as a subject alone (without their sidekicks or and nor ), they are singular. This is true even though the subject seems to be two things. Neither of these choices appears to be satisfactory. The purchasing office will lend me a company car or compensate me for travel expenses. Either is fine with me . When either and neither act as correlative conjunctions , however, life becomes a bit more complicated!

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When either and neither act as correlative conjunctions , the subject that is closer to the verb determines the number (singular or plural form) of the verb. Neither the principal nor the teachers are at fault. Either the teachers or the principal has to be responsible for the year-end festival. Has either the President or his aides been in touch with you?

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When an expletive construction ( there is, there are, here is , etc.) begins a sentence, the subject (which determines the number of the verb) comes after the verb. There are several explanations for the Civil War. We were looking down the street when —all of a sudden — here come Joe and his two brothers. If the management team takes this attitude, there is very little latitude for negotiation.

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Be careful when lengthy or numerous modifying phrases come between the subject and its verb. Tim Berners-Lee, one of America’s most prominent computer scientists and —as a founder of the World Wide Web Consortium — one of the most important figures in the development of the Internet, has been working quietly at M.I.T. for many years. The fact that the plural “scientists” and “figures” appear in this sentence has no effect on our choice of a singular verb, “has.”

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With “of phrases,” try turning the sentence “inside-out” to find the right subject-verb combination. Connecticut is one of those states that HAVE/HAS adopted a state income tax. Turn this around to . . . . Of those states that have adopted a state income tax, Connecticut is one. This makes it easy to figure out the verb that belongs in a relative clause . ?

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This PowerPoint presentation was created by Charles Darling, PhD Professor of English and Webmaster Capital Community College Hartford, Connecticut copyright November 1999

CONGRATULATION !!! You have completed This Section: 

CONGRATULATION !!! You have completed This Section Please proceed to the next module to take your practice quiz. Please take good notes for your practice quiz since much of this information will comprise your course tests, midterm exam and final exam.