Intermediário - 2. Singular/Plural Agreement (Part 1 of 2. Exercises with part 2)

Phrases or words that require singular verbs

  • Some of the homework is...
  • * Some of the book is... (it is only one book, but this refers to part of the book)
  • A lot of the book is.. (same as above, only one book)
  • One of my employees is...
  • Each of my sisters is...
  • None of the computers is ... (formal usage)
  • The number of words is...
  • Every one of the streets is...
  • Somebody/someone/something is...
  • Either/neither the president or the vice president is...
  • Anyone/anybody/anything is...
  • Nothing in this school is...
  • A series of computers is...
  • A pair of shoes, pants, trousers is... (however, these pairs of pants are or the pants are)

No count nouns:
The furniture is... / The sugar is / The information is

Expressions of time, money, and distance:
Three hours is the time needed to complete this test.
Traveling fifty thousand miles is a long time to spend in an airplane.
Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money to spend on an education.

Collective nouns: class, team, government, staff, committee, public, family, crowd, group

Fractions modifying singular nouns take singular verbs: Two thirds of the book is outdated.
Fractions modifying plural nouns take plural verbs: Two thirds of the books have already arrived.

Fractions modifying and collective noun can take either singular or plural.
Two thirds of the population of Lebanon is Muslim.
Two thirds of the population of Lebanon are Muslims.

Phrases that require plural verbs
Some of the notes are...
None of the computers are...(informal usage)
A lot of the lectures are... A number of the students are...
A couple of the machines are...

People groups:
The English are accustomed to... (people from England)
The French are accustomed to...(people from France)

A verb agrees with the subject even if interrupted by a prepositional phrase:
This list of names is not very complete (the verb is agrees with the subject list).

A verb agrees with its subject even when interrupted by phrases such as in addition to, such as, including, as well as and similar expressions:
The teacher as well as the students agrees with this opinion (the verb agrees modifies the subject teacher).

A verb agrees with the subject regardless of the location of the subject:
There are many difficulties facing us today (the verb are agrees with the subject difficulties).

Subjects joined by AND require plural verbs:
The teacher and the student were tired.

Subjects joined by or or nor need to agree with the closer subject:
Neither the teacher nor the students are excited about the lesson. (The subject are agrees with students, the closer subject.)

A noun will be either countable or uncountable. If it is uncountable (noncount) it cannot be taken apart as individual units. There are some general guidelines for figuring out which category a noun falls into, but many times you will simply have to memorize which nouns are countable and which are uncountable.

Noncount nouns are always accompanied by a singular verb (is, needs...) and singular determiners (this, some...) even if the noun seems to indicate more than one object:
This information is not appropriate for school.
Some information is out of place.
A lot of information is incorrect.

You cannot say: Few furniture are here. / Many furniture are arriving. / These furniture are old.

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