We have already looked at subject-verb agreements and you will have seen that some aspects of it can be difficult to understand. So, to help you in your studies, this is the second of two High English quizzes looking at whether to use singular or plural verbs with two or more connected singular nouns.
We have seen in the last quiz that the character of a noun determines the verb to be used in a sentence. We can sometimes get confused by the choice of verbs to be used – singular or plural. The trick is to identify the subject noun that we want to use to describe an action. In order to identify to which category the nouns belong we need to isolate them as countable or uncountable or as collective nouns. Depending on the type of noun the subject is we next determine if the noun is plural or singular. Usually, uncountable nouns are singular but with exceptions. Countable nouns can have singular or plural forms. Based on our identification we can use the appropriate verb and satisfy the subject-verb agreement conditions.
Earlier we looked at subjects that are singular or plural. We also looked at subjects comprising two singular nouns and two singular nouns expressing a single idea as well. Sometimes, one subject is described in two connected singular nouns and one of them is usually preceded by a determiner and in such cases the singular verb is used. For instance, ‘Some bread and butter is what the poor need' would be the correct sentence. On the other hand, when two singular nouns are preceded by determiners a plural verb is used. For instance, ‘the actor and the singer were the principal players in the drama’ would be the correct sentence.
There are instances where the nouns are connected by words such as 'or,' 'neither,' 'nor' and 'either.. or' and in such cases we use singular verbs. However, in cases where we connect two persons or subjects by using ‘or’ and ‘nor’ then the verb that agrees with the second subject is to be used. The quiz that follows helps us to understand the intricacies of subject-verb agreements.