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Grammar 01
'Neither of the ice skaters were ready.' Is that correct or not?

Grammar 01

Grammar describes the structure of a language, or how it works. All children learn grammar naturally while learning their native language. A few of the trickier aspects, however, have to be learned deliberately. Subject-verb agreement can be one of the trickiest, which is why this entire English quiz is devoted to the subject.

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1.
Which of the following sentences is NOT correct?
Which of the two actors is in the film?
Which actor is in the film?
Which of the two actors are in the film?
Which actors are in the film?
The key to deciding in this case is to work out whether 'which' refers to one or more actors. If it is only one, the verb should be singular. 'Which of the two...' implies that only one of the actors is in the film, so it is correct to write 'which is'
2.
Which of the following sentences is NOT correct?
The colours yellow, orange and red is considered to be warm.
The colours yellow, orange and red are considered to be warm.
Yellow, orange and red are considered to be warm colours.
Yellow, along with orange and red, is considered to be warm.
A group, such as 'yellow, orange and red', is plural. In the sentence 'Yellow, along with orange and red, is considered to be warm', the basic clause is 'Yellow is considered to be warm'. The parenthetical phrase 'along with orange and red' does not change the singular subject, 'yellow'
3.
Which of the following is NOT correct?
A pair of trousers is drying on the radiator.
The trousers are in the wash.
A pair of trousers are drying on the radiator.
Some trousers are drying on the radiator.
'A pair of trousers' is singular, so it should be 'a pair of trousers is'. 'The trousers', however, are treated as plural
4.
Which of the following sentences is NOT correct?
The postman and the milkman arrive at the same time every day.
The postman arrives five minutes earlier than the milkman every day.
The postman and the milkman always arrive much later than the baker arrives.
Every day, the postman, the milkman and the baker arrives at the same time.
5.
Which of the following sentences is NOT correct?
I am looking forward to the match.
My friend and I am looking forward to the match.
My friend and I are looking forward to the match.
My friend is looking forward to the match, but I am dreading it.
The phrase 'my friend and I' is plural because it involves more than one person
6.
Which of the following sentences is NOT correct?
Neither the ice skater nor his coach was ready.
None of the ice skaters were ready.
Neither he nor I was ready.
Neither the ice skater nor his coach were ready.
'Either' and 'neither' are treated as singular nouns:  i.e. 'neither is'
7.
Which of the following sentences is NOT correct?
Everybody at the party is in on the surprise we've planned.
Every person at the party is in on the surprise we've planned.
The guests at the party are in on the surprise we've planned.
Everybody at the party are in on the surprise we've planned.
'Everybody' is treated at a singular noun in English, so it should always be 'everybody is'.  'Everyone', 'nobody' and 'someone' are also singular
8.
Which of the following sentences is NOT correct?
One of my jobs for next week is clearing the garden and painting the house.
My jobs for next week are clearing the garden and painting the house.
Clearing the garden and painting the house are my jobs for next week.
My tasks next week are to clear the garden and paint the house.
'Clearing the garden' and 'painting the house' are two jobs, so the sentence should begin:  'Two of my jobs for next week are...'
9.
Which of the following sentences is NOT correct?
The two fishermen were waiting for the tide to come in.
Harry and Jerome were waiting for the tide to come in.
The fisherman by the pier and the fisherman on the sea wall was waiting for the tide to come in.
Jerome was waiting patiently for the tide to come in, but Harry was feeling impatient.
'Was' is not correct here because the sentence mentions two fishermen. Two fishermen would be 'they', so the verb should be 'were'
10.
Which of the following sentences is NOT correct?
Each of us is going swimming.
Each of us are going swimming.
We are going swimming.
I am going swimming with friends.
'Each' is singular
Author:  Sheri Smith

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