Sunday, December 9, 2007

S-V Agreement: Them

Subject-verb agreement is one of the most basic elements of English. It's one of the first things we learn in English class. However, as I have pointed out before, s-v agreement can be really tricky and many persist in making the most basic mistakes.

Consider the verb that goes with the pronoun, them. Now, them refers to several people, which means it requires a plural verb. Why, then, do I keep hearing my students say something like, "most of them watches TV," or "most of them is interested in nursing." Since them requires a plural verb, the correct thing to say is, "most of them watch TV" and "most of them are interested in nursing." Fact is, the expression, most of them, really refers to several people, which means a plural verb.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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