Monday, October 22, 2007

S-V Agreement: Is and Are where Subjects are Concerned

Hello everyone! I'm back from a fruitful Cebu trip. Here's today's post and thanks for reading while I was gone.

The basic subject-verb agreement rule of the singular subject taking the singular verb and the plural subject taking the plural verb becomes difficult when the sentence seems to have more than one subject. Consider these examples:

"Prixie is cooking."
"Prixie, Justine, and Maisa are cooking."
"Prixie, along with Justine and Maisa, is cooking."

What's the difference between the three sentences? In the first sentence, the subject is singular (only one person is cooking); hence, the singular verb, is. In the second, there are three people cooking, so we use the plural verb, are. The last sentence, though, contains one subject, with two others seemingly inserted in the sentence. In this case, the verb is singular because the subject is singular. The two other names are not the subject of the sentence, they just help to further explain the subject (the one cooking is helped by two others).

When deciding whether to use the plural or the singular, know your subject!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it's liza.
i am really enjoying your blog.
I have a question.
can you please feature the right usage of that and which.
God bless!!!