GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Practice Test: Subject-Verb Agreement

In dealing with subject-verb agreement it is important to know that verbs vary depending on the subject.  Singular subjects need singular verbs, just as plural subjects need plural verbs.

Examples

Her father is an optometrist.

Her nephews are practicing attorneys.

Father is singular and receives a singular verb, while nephews is plural and receives a plural verb.

Much of the time you can read sentences aloud and if it sounds correct it most likely is.  However, there are some rules and exceptions that are atypical and may confuse you.

-The indefinite pronouns anyone, everyone, no one, nobody are always singular and require singular verbs.

-Indefinite pronouns such as all or some, can be singular or plural depending on what they are referencing.  Ask yourself the question: Is it countable? Quantitative items are plural, but uncountable items are singular.  For example, “Most of the water is spilled.”  “All of the rats were in the cage.”

-Sometimes modifiers interrupt the subject and verb, but these modifiers must not confuse the subject-verb agreement.  “The rock star, who has millions of fans in dozens of countries, is the main attraction in town this week.”

-There are certain nouns that may take unusual forms and appear to be plural they are really singular, and vice versa.  Words such as scissors, pants, and eyeglasses are considered plural and receive plural verbs, unless the word is preceded by a modifier such as pair of, then the word pair becomes the singular subject.  For example, “The pants were faded and worn.” “The pair of pants was full of holes and rips.”

 

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