We’ll consider other uses of either and neither in another article. The subjunctive mood pairs singular subjects with what we usually think of as plural verbs. Get more practice with subject-verb agreement by reviewing Chapter 7 of Language Network, pages 164-183. The word were replaces was in sentences that express a wish or are contrary to fact: Example: If Joe were here, you'd be sorry. The verb in an or, either/or, or neither/nor sentence agrees with the noun or pronoun closest to it. Some of the pie is missing. What a great blog! There is a high hurdle to jump. Subject Verb Agreement Worksheet For Class 5, Modal Auxiliary Verbs Worksheet For Class 6 CBSE, Identify The Type Of Sentence | CBSE Class 3 English Grammar Worksheets, Transitive And Intransitive Verbs Worksheet For Class 7 CBSE, NCERT Class 7 Science Chapter 4 | Heat | Expected Questions, Class 7 Geography Chapter 3 | Our Changing Earth | Expected Questions And Answers, Class 7 Geography Chapter 2 | Inside Our Earth, Class 7 Science Chapter 3 | Fibre to Fabric | Expected Questions. Hasty writers, speakers, readers, and listeners might miss the all-too-common mistake in the following sentence: Incorrect: A bouquet of yellow roses lend color and fragrance to the room. Grammar Girl wasn’t very helpful with these subject-complement agreement sentences. Have you ever struggled with either or neither, wondering if they referred to subjects singular or plural, wondering if they took singular or plural verbs? For example, if I is one of two (or more) subjects, it could lead to this odd sentence: Awkward: Neither she, my friends, nor I am going to the festival. ELB has produced a series of bestselling English guides, available from all major retailers, with over 25,000 copies sold worldwide. Either you tell me, or I’ll turn you in for the reward money. These words and phrases are not part of the subject. Neither the chipmunk nor the squirrels (is / are) bothering us. Consistent: The staff are deciding how they want to vote. 9. ..is this sentence correct? Subject Verb Agreement Worksheets Neither Nor. We will use the standard of underlining subjects once and verbs twice. As for your examples, my personal choices follow—. October 30, 2020 by admin. Being right is worthless if your audience can’t follow what you’re trying to say. (I’m pretty sure that I regularly use several of these examples incorrectly when I say similar sentences.). Lou, I liked the three options she quoted from Barbara Walraff. Neither the apples nor the basket is expensive. However, according to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage: "Clearly none has been both singular and plural since Old English and still is. (From what I can tell, this is more common in AmE than in BrE.). by Phil Williams | Apr 9, 2019 | Grammar | 0 comments. If the subject closest to the verb is singular, use a singular verb. Many students have troubles with collective nouns and subject-verb agreement. Examples: Either the vase or the dish was/were a gift. Under the other condition, the choice between singular and plural will depend not only on the words either and neither, but on other words in your sentence as well. 3) “The writers complained that their necks were sore”—they don’t share a neck. Look for the either/or and neither/nor constructions. Neither the horses nor the jockeys have ever raced on that particular track. Sometimes the subject is separated from the verb by such words as along with, as well as, besides, not, etc. Write for clarity and for a fit to the writing project (novel, article, thesis). It requires the singular verb is. In this example, Either (or Either one) is the subject and behaves like a singular noun. Still, it pays to know what is considered correct. Neither of the brothers want breakfast. verb, the verb should agree with the second option. The bed and breakfast was charming. Yet correct isn’t always our first goal. This rule does not apply to the correlative pairs Either…or and Neither…nor, which are discussed in the next section. Bryan Garner, in The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style, notes that the noun that follows each other’s is often plural even though “the logical construction is singular.”, What that means to me is that we usually use the plural, no matter what makes more sense. Click a cover to learn more! Rule 5a. said, however, you may find that with informal English a plural is used. Neither the teacher nor his students was/were present. But many 3-D people speak sentences that would be considered incorrect in terms of proper grammar, so fictional characters can definitely do the same. Neither the serving bowl nor the plates go on that shelf. plural. All of the pies are gone. Also, does the same rule apply to regular “or” sentences? Kathy, some people do say me either when they mean me neither. Required fields are marked *. Neither and either always take singular verbs when acting as the subject of a sentence. Those that truly sound wrong are the examples with the preposition of (of your daughters, of yours) following either or neither. In the first example, a wishful statement, not a fact, is being expressed; Quotation Marks. For example, if I is one of two (or more) subjects, it could lead to this odd sentence: couplets.As As Which would be your picks, Beth, and why? . Either Larry or one of his brothers holds the record. Here’s a tip that should prove helpful: there are different conditions to consider when you make your decisions about whether either and neither are singular or plural. (Technically, it is the singular subject of the object clause in the subjunctive mood: it were Friday.) Titles of Books, Plays, Articles, etc. simply reorder the choice to make sure the plural is closest to the verb. 2. Either Rachel was telling the truth or her sisters were. Under this condition, the verb is singular or plural based on the subject closest to the verb. This depends on the nouns included; the option between two (either one or the other) Watch out – when using either or neither the verb agrees with the second subject, NOT the first:. 5) “Both men relied heavily on their wife” or “Both men relied heavily on their wives”? For this reason some English speakers may (albeit Rule 6. both complete the action, but we use either to indicate only one of them will. 3. – Either they or I am doctors. 7,205 Downloads . Either the three elephants or the lone tiger is going to be cut from the second act. It's about putting the words together to touch, to entertain, to move the reader. Examples: Either the vase or the dish was/were a gift. Italics? Copyright by Jane Straus/GrammarBook.com. Careful speakers and writers would avoid assigning the singular is and the plural they to staff in the same sentence. Neither do I. I would reverse the order here and start with Evidence of Labour’s recovery . or neither…nor Examples: Take care never to use there's with a plural subject. A third of the population was opposed OR were opposed to the bill. I wouldn’t either.


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