Answers: Subject-verb agreement 04

1. The mass media have become pervasive in our society.

Media is another of those words that has maintained its Latin origin. This is the plural form and should have a plural verb. The singular form of media is medium.

2. The president and his advisor was up early to deal with the crisis.

Compound subjects joined by the conjunction “and” usually take plural verbs. The verb in this sentence should be “were.”

3. Measles has a deathly grip on the children of this town.

“Measles” is a word that appears to be plural but is actually singular. In this sentence, the verb “has” is correct.

4. The hammer and one of the nails was laying there ready for the carpenter.

Compound subjects joined by the conjunction “and” usually take plural verbs. The words “hammer” and “one” are the subjects of this sentence, and the verb should be “were.”

5. Through the roaring blazes of the many fires runs John.

This type of sentence is sometimes called an inverted sentence – one in which the verb comes before the subject. Still, the subject and verb must agree, and in this case they do.

6. All of the clocks in the city strike at about the same time.

The subject of this sentence is “all,” which usually takes a plural verb. In this case, “strike” is the correct verb.

7. Despite the fact that each was told not to, the three-year-old Grant and the five-year-old Owen wants to play in the mud.

Each of the subjects in this sentence is singular, and they each have plural verbs.

8. Two-thirds of the assignment has been finished.

Fractions used as subjects in a sentence may be either singular or plural. They are singular when they refer to a unit as a whole; they are plural when they refer to individual members of the unit. For instance, in the case above, the sentence, “Two-thirds of the problems have been fiished,” is correct.

9. News is what editors and news directors say it is.

The word “news” is singular even though it appears to be plural in form.

10. The pile of logs, all of them, were stolen in the middle of the night.

The subject of this sentence is “pile,” not “logs” or “all.” Therefore, it needs the singular verb “was” instead of “were.”

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Jim Stovall, a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker and beekeeper -- among others things.

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