November 24, 2014

Agreement: Pronouns that ALWAYS Take a Singular Verb

First it might be helpful to remember that the singular form of all verbs — except “to be” and “to have” — is formed by adding “s” or “es.” For example: dives, runs, answers, crashes, presses and tosses.

When used as a subject or adjective these indefinite pronouns are always singular and, therefore, they take singular verbs.

another anybody anyone anything each each one either
every everybody everything much neither nobody no one
nothing one other somebody something someone

These pronouns may be used as subjects, and they take a singular verb.

  • Everyone has been invited.
  • She said that something was all she wanted for her birthday.
  • The Democratic leadership suggested two solutions but neither was acceptable to the committee chair.

When they are used as adjectives, the noun they modify always takes a singular verb.

  • Neither solution works for the committee chair.
  • Each tragedy gives the population given less time to recover from the previous shock.

The number–when used as subject of a sentence (an organized unit)—takes a singular verb.

  • The number of tenants without heat is increasing.

Subjects that stand for definable units of money, measurement, time, organization, food and medical problems always take singular verbs.

  • Six months is not enough time.
  • Five thousand dollars is the minimum bid.
  • Ham and eggs is my favorite meal.

Singular subject followed by phrases “such as,” “together with” and “as well as” take a singular verb.

  • The tax measure, together with its amendments, has passed.

When all parts of a compound subject are singular and refer to same person or thing.

  • The head of the expedition and mayor of the village was the same person.

When the subject is followed by the phrase “the only one of.”

  • Jake is the only one of the runners who has finished.

BUT: When the subject is followed by the phrase “one of the” or “one of those,” the verb agrees with the object of the preposition

  • Jake is one of those runners who have finished.
    • In this case, Jake is one of many [those] runners. The verb “have” agrees with “those runners” not with Jake.)

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Comments

  1. Please advise:

    A minimum of 6 is required or A minimum of 6 are required

    Thank you

  2. This is an excellent review.

  3. Prove help for me! why Susan’s required 6?

  4. A group of physicians is exploring – or
    A group of physicians are exploring

  5. A group of physicians is … (The subject of the sentence is “group,” which is a singular entity.)

  6. Anonny Moose says:

    A minimum of 6 _is_ required – drop the preposition “of 6″ and you get “A minimum is required.”

    Also names of companies also apply as singular nouns in this concept known as Collective Nouns.

  7. What if the verb of agreement is a fraud

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