Remember that time when you couldn’t agree with your boyfriend/girlfriend and nothing seemed to go right on that particular day? You could say the same when it comes to ‘subject-verb agreement’. Grammarians consider it the most important aspect of a sentence’s structure. If it goes wrong, it could mess up your sentence in an instant. Batman approves of appropriate grammar as well!
Relinquish your inner “Batman”, practice and ace your exams!
So, here’s the basic question: “How to make subjects and verbs agree?”
Let’s cut to the chase:
A singular subject must have a singular verb; a plural subject must have a plural verb. It’s quite easy, right?
Let’s take a look at an example: “Batman rescued a pussy from a burning building.”
Yay! Go Batman! The hero saves the day and everyone is happy.
Here, Batman is the subject and did all the rescuing. The verb that followed completely agrees with the subject, Batman.
Now, Superman comes along and claims that he rescued the pussy (umm, cat, that is)!
Let’s look at it in a rather simple sentence:
Superman rescues the pussy (-> Singular noun – Superman, takes singular verb – rescues)
So, the fight goes on and leads to the making of “Batman v Superman: Rescue of the pussy”.
Keep in mind these common rules when you encounter a subject-verb agreement sentence:
a. ‘And’ will be used to talk about two people at the same time and the verb will always be plural.
“Batman and Superman save the city together.”
b. When using conjunctions like either/neither, only one of the two is being indicated, and the verb they take will be singular.
“Either Batman or Superman will win the fight.”
“Neither of the heroes is doing their job.”
c. Modifiers like as well as, along with, together with, in addition to, no less than, rather than and like are treated as singular. The same rule is applicable for non-essential clauses and appositives. Although they come between the subject and the verb, they have no effect on the structure of the sentence.
“We want Batman, who is the hero of Gotham, as our new President.
“Batman, along with Robin, protects the city of Gotham.”
d. When it comes to ‘or’ the verb takes the noun closest to it.
“The villains or Batman is going to win.”
“Batman or the villains are going to win.”
I’ll let you in on a little secret: ‘Batman wins every time.’
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