Agreement: Pronouns that ALWAYS Take a Plural Verb

Always Plural Subjects

When a compound subject is joined by a coordinating conjunction (and), it takes a plural verb IF the subjects refer to different people or things and if the subject cannot be considered a unit.

  • Your investments and property are sure to increase in value.

Two nouns, not a single unit = plural

  • Ham and eggs is Oralee’s favorite breakfast.

Two noun, a single unit = singular

The indefinite pronouns BOTH, FEW, MANY, SEVERAL always take plural verbs.

  • Both are acceptable choices.

It makes sense that the verb is plural. “Both” means “two” and “two” is plural.

“A number” as the subject of a sentence always takes plural verbs.

  • A number of tenants are in the building.

Be aware of “irregular” plural nouns. Although they do not end in “s,” they always take plural verbs.

  • The news media are under attack.

singular of media: medium

  • The teacher is happy when her children are learning.

Men, women, sheep, etc. fall into this category

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  1. Elizabeth Marsh says

    The doctor said that this medical phenomenon a) defies b) defy explanation.


    Should it not be “these phenomenon” for the plural and “this phenomenon” as singular?

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