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Tips for English Language Subject–Verb Agreement

Part of the English Grammar For Dummies Cheat Sheet (Australia/New Zealand Edition)

Matching the right subject to your verb can be tricky when you're writing in English. Here are some basic tips to help you work out which verbs are singular and which verbs are plural.

  • Match singular subjects with singular verbs, plural subjects with plural verbs.

  • Amounts of time and money are usually singular (ten minutes is).

  • Eitheror and neithernor: Match the verb to the closest subject (neither the boys nor the girl is).

  • Either and neither, without their partners or and nor, always take a singular verb (either of the apples is).

  • All subjects preceded by each and every take a singular verb.

  • Both, few, several, many are always plural.

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