Subject-verb agreement exercise 03
1. Laughter and joy always punctuate the child’s shrieks.
Compound subjects joined by the conjunction “and” usually take plural verbs. In this sentence, “laughter” and “joy” are the subjects of the sentence.
2. Neither the team nor the coach was satisfied with the victory.
Compound subjects joined by the conjunction “or” or in the constructions “either . . . or” and “neither . . . nor” usually take singular verbs.
3. Marching and singing were two of the staple activities of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Compound subjects joined by the conjunction “and” usually take plural verbs. In this sentence, two gerunds (words in verb form that are used as nouns) are the subjects of the sentence.
4. The Surpreme Court close its session today.
“Supreme Court” is the subject of this sentence. Although it refers to nine individuals, the term is singular because it refers to the unit as a whole.
5. There was loud noise and music coming from inside the house.
When you see sentences that begin with “there” or “it” and a linking verb, you must look past the verb to find the subject of the sentence. In this instance, “noise” and “music” are the compound subjects of this sentence, and the verb should be “were.”
6. Politics is what he enjoys the most.
“Politics” is one of those words that can be singular or plural depending on the context of the sentence. In this case, it is singular because it refers to a set of activities and situations rather than the individual activities themselves.
7. The data do not support his conclusions.
Some words retain their Latin origins. Data and media are two such words. Although they are often used as singular nouns, they are plural and should be used with plural verbs. The verb here is correctly “do,” not “does.”
8. Large amounts of free time was one of the difficulties with the job.
The subject of this sentence is “amounts,” a plural noun, not “time,” a singular noun. The verb should be “were” instead of “was.”
9. Intercollegiate athletics has a large budget at this university.
“Athletics” is one of those words that looks like it is plural, but it is really a singular noun most of the time. In this case it is referring to a set of sports, not individual sports.
10. “Silver Bells” are among my favorite Christmas songs.
Titles of books, movies and other works should be treated as singular nouns even though they may be plural in form. The verb in this sentence should be “is” rather than “are.”
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