Subject – Verb Agreement

# Rule Examples
1. together with

along with have no

Subject + accompanied by effect on + Verb

as well as the verb

in addition to

The actress, along with her manager and some friends, is going to a party tonight.

Mr Robbins, accompanied by his wife and children, is arriving tonight.

2. and My closest colleague and best friend has recently divorced her husband. (My closest colleague is my best friend) = 1 person

The heat and humidity deter tourists from visiting the country during the summer. (heat is not humidity) = 2 things

Bread and butter is all that is provided with the tea.
(this is a sandwich)

Bread and butter are sold in the shop on the corner. (2
separate things)

Your style and even your handwriting needs to be improved. (clarification – even your handwriting)


Negative clarification

A boy, not a woman, is playing the part.


Always singular
any + singular nobody
anybody no one
any nothing either
anything every or +
some + singular each
somebody everybody neither +
someone everyone nor
something everything

If either of you takes a vacation now, you will not be able to finish the work.
Nobody works harder than John.


None of
None of the + uncountable + singular verb

None of the counterfeit money has been found.


None of the + countable plural + plural verb

None of the students have finished the exam.


No + singular noun + singular verb
uncountable noun

No example is relevant to this case.
No evidence is necessary.


No + plural noun + plural verb

No examples are relevant to this case.


Either / neither + or / nor
either + or + plural noun + plural verb
neither nor

Either John or his friends are going to the beach today.
Neither John nor his friends are + not going to the beach today.


either + noun or + singular noun + singular verb
neither nor

Either John or Bill is going to the beach today.
Neither John nor Bill is + not going to the beach today.


or / nor + singular noun = singular verb
or / nor + plural noun = plural verb

John or Josh is bringing the car.
Buns or bread is expensive.
The dog or the kids were making a racket downstairs.


Gerund as subject
Always singular

Dieting is very popular today.
Not studying has caused him many problems.


the number ‒ singular
a number ‒ plural

The number of days in a week is seven.
A number of students are going to the class picnic.


Group nouns (congress,
organization, army, class, etc.)

The whole group – singular
Individuals of a group – plural

My family are given presents.
My family was surprised by the news.
The crowd was wild with excitement.
Our team is going to with the game.
Our team discuss all the problems.


Majority / minority
Majority + no noun + singular verb
Majority + plural noun + plural verb

The majority believes that we are in no danger.
The majority of the students believe him to be innocent.


Groups of animals ‒ singular

The block of birds is circling overhead.
The herd of cattle is breaking away.
A school of fish is being attacked by sharks.


money nouns + singular

Twenty five dollars is too much.
Fifty minutes is not enough.


There + to be + depends on the first

There is a table and chairs.
There have been a number of telephones.
There was water and bottles on the floor where he fell.


Many a, more than one + singular verb

Many a day has been passed in leisurely reading.
More than one error was discovered in the wording of the document.


One of those who + plural verb
One of the few that

My daughter is one of those students, who like to study late at night.


My daughter is the only one of the students in her class who is likely to obtain a distinction in the English language.


Titles + singular

“Great Expectations” is an exciting opera.


fraction, percentage and quota indexes
+ the noun singular or uncountable = singular verb

fraction, percentage and quota indexes + the noun plural = plural verb

A whopping 89 percent of the population lives in the coastal urban areas.

Almost 75 percent of the people live on the North Island, and about a third of them are concentrated in the Auckland metropolitan area.

Two-thirds of pizza has burnt. Two-thirds of all pizzas have burnt.

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