Anyone who uses a plural verb with a collective noun must be careful to be precise – and also coherent. This should not be done lightly. Here is the kind of wrong phrase that we see today and that we hear a lot: 8. Names like scissors, pliers, pants and scissors require plural verbs. (There are two parts of these things.) Expressions of rupture like half, part of, a percentage of, the majority of are sometimes singular and sometimes plural, depending on the meaning. (The same is true, of course, when all, all, more, most and some act as subjects.) The totals and products of mathematical processes are expressed in singular and require singular verbs. The phrase “more than one” (weirdly) takes on a singular verb: “More than one student has tried to do so.” English has a handful of plural substrates that do not end in s/il. People, police officers, cattle and fish need all plural verbs, although they do not close with a s: sometimes the modifiers come between a subject and its verb, but these modifiers should not confuse the agreement between the subject and its verb. The rest of this teaching unit examines the problems of agreement that may result from the placement of words in sentences. There are four main problems: prepositional sentences, clauses that start with who, this, or who, sentences that start here or there, and questions.
Sometimes names take strange forms and can fool us to think that they are plural if they are truly singular and vice versa. You`ll find more help in the section on plural forms of nouns and in the section on collective nouns. Words such as glasses, pants, pliers and scissors are considered plural (and require plural verbs), unless they are followed by the pair of sentences (in this case, the pair of words becomes subject). This rule can cause shocks on the road. For example, if I`m one of the two subjects (or more), this could lead to this strange phrase: As subjects, the following pronouns take singular verbs always. Look at them carefully. Sentences as with, well, and with are not the same as and. The phrase introduced by or together will change the previous word (in this case mayor), but it does not aggravate the subjects (as the word and would). A prepositional sentence can be placed between the subject and the verb. Basic principle: singular subjects need singular verbs; Plural subjects need plural verbs. My brother`s a nutritionist. My sisters are mathematicians.
A third group of indeterminate pronouns takes either a singular or plural verb, depending on the pronouns that have meaning in the sentence. Take a good look at Article 1. A theme will be in front of a sentence that will begin. It is a key rule for understanding the subjects. The word is the culprit in many, perhaps most, subject-word errors.