Grammatical basis for any proposal in the English language is a subject and predicate. More details about each of these parts of the sentence, you can read the articles of our blog. It’s no secret that the predicate in a sentence agrees with the subject in person and number. Let’s look at the most simple examples:
They go to the theatre together. — They go to the theater together. (they — 3 person plural)
I usually get up at 7 o’clock. — I usually get up at seven o’clock. (I — 1 person singular)
Kate comes home late at night. — Kate comes home late at night. (Kate — 3 person singular)
You are my best friend. — You are my best friend. (You — 2 person singular)
All the proposals have one thing: each of them only one subject. Therefore, the difficulty with such proposals is almost does not occur. And what if the proposal is not one, but two or more subject? Which of them agree on the predicate? With that which is closest to the predicate? Or the first of several? That these questions, we shall now respond to our agreement of the predicate with the subject in the English language (subject predicate agreement) was grammatically correct in every sentence.
Options matching the predicate with the subject in English
For convenience, we consider each case individually matching predicate with the subject in the English language:
- If the proposal we have two subjects, as they joined the Union and, the predicate will be presented in the form of the plural:
Steve and Amanda plan to celebrate holidays with their parents. — Steve and Amanda are planning to celebrate the holidays with their parents.
Wisdom and courage are two virtues every person should possess. — The wisdom and courage — two virtues that should be enjoyed by everyone.
- If the proposal after a turnover there is / there are two or more are subject, predicate generally consistent with the first of them.
There are two chairs and four lamps in the room. — In the room two chairs and four lamps.
There is a woman and some men in the room. — In the room a woman and several men.
But note that before the plural noun in the English language can be a lot of, which indicates that the verb will also be plural:
There are a lot of interesting books in this library. — This library has many interesting books.
- If the proposal two be connected by a preposition with (a), as well as (and also, as well as) generally matching the predicate with the subject in the English language works — the predicate to the same number, in which the first subject:
A man with a dog in his arm was crossing the street. — Man with a dog in her arms crossing the road.
My mother as well as her friends wants to join this club. — My mother, as well as her friends, wants to join the club.
- If the two be joined unions in the sentence either … or (or … or … or like), and neither … nor (neither one nor the other, neither), the predicate will be agreed with the latter:
Neither we nor our neighbor has the key of the letterbox. — Neither we nor our neighbor is not the key to the mailbox.
Either he or they have done this. — Or does he, or they did it.
- If the subject performs collective noun (army, class, committee, corporation, family, jury, party, senate, team etc.), which is defined as a unit, the predicate must be put in the singular form. However, referring to the individual members of the group, we use the verb in the plural:
The jury agrees that the defendant is not guilty. — The jury believe that the defendant is innocent.
The family were sitting round the table. — The family sat around the table.
- If the subject is expressed noun the majority (majority) or a number (number), the predicate takes the form of the plural:
The majority of people are finally concerned about global warming. — Most people finally started thinking about the problem of global warming.
A number of fans buy tickets in advance. — A number of fans buy tickets in advance.
- The predicate with the subject, marked one of the pronouns of English — each, everyone, everything, nobody, someone, something, either, neither — is placed in a single number:
Everybody lies. — Everybody lies.
Someone wants to see you. — Someone wants to see you.
Neither of the restaurants is cheap. — None of the restaurants are not inexpensive.
- Approval of the predicate with the subject in the English language in the case of the pronoun all as the subject is such: all at a value of «everything» — the verb is singular; all in the meaning of «all» — the predicate in the plural:
All is mine. — All is mine.
All are dancing. — Everyone is dancing.
- The subject can be expressed and the pronoun both (both). In this case, the predicate has plural form:
Both of us were very tired. — We’re both tired.
Both these skirts are very nice. — Both skirts are beautiful.
- And finally, the final point. If the subject is the English question word who / what, the predicate is in the singular:
Who is absent today? — Who is absent today?
What belongs to you? — What’s yours?