Exercise 6 – Subject-Verb Agreement
Grammar Exercise 6 helps you with subject and verb agreement.
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Subject-verb agreement can become quite difficult if there are prepositional phrases or adverbials after the grammatical subject of a sentence.
Be sure to ignore the nouns in the prepositional phrases, and make the main verb agree in number to the grammatical subject of the sentence.
The verb form you use will depend on whether your grammatical subject is singular or plural.
Here is an example of a sentence containing a singular grammatical subject:
The girl in my class on arts and crafts is very good at drawing.
The grammatical subject of this sentence is “girl”, not “class”, “arts” or “crafts”.
The phrases “in my class” and “on arts and crafts” are prepositional phrases that identify the class and its subject matter.
Here is an example of a sentence containing a plural grammatical subject:
Many voters in the county in the north of England refuse to vote for the new candidate.
The grammatical subject of the previous sentence is “voters”, which is a plural noun.
The other nouns are in prepositional phrases that describe the location of the voting constituency.
Complete the sentences below by placing the correct form of the verb in each gap.
(1) Many of my friends __________ (disagree / disagrees) with me on this topic.
(2) Fifteen pounds __________ (is / are) the price of that jacket.
(3) Two hundred kilometres __________ (seem / seems) a long way to drive just for a party.
(4) One-half of the students in the class __________ (has / have) good marks on the test.
(5) Several members on staff in the company __________ (need / needs) a higher salary.
(6) Neither the bread nor the cheese __________ (is / are) fresh enough to eat.
(7) Two chairs by the table in the dining room __________ (is / are) broken.
(8) Many politicians in public office __________ (has / have) concerns about protecting the details of their private lives.
(9) Either my aunt or my uncle usually __________ (help / helps) my parents.
(10) The price of that pair of gloves __________ (was / were) five euros.
(1) disagree – The subject of the sentence is many.
(2) is – The subject of the sentence is the price.
(3) seems – The subject of the sentence is a long way.
(4) have – The subject of the sentence is one-half.
(5) need – The subject of the sentence is several members.
(6) is – The subject of the sentence is neither.
(7) are – The subject of the sentence is two chairs.
(8) have – The subject of the sentence is many politicians.
(9) helps – The subject of the sentence is either.
(10) was – The subject of the sentence is the price.