Verbs in contemporary form for third parties, s-subjects (him, them, them and all that these words can represent) have s-endings. Other verbs do not add s-endings. The names of sports teams that do not end in “s” take a plural verb: the Miami Heat have searched, the Connecticut Sun hopes that new talent . You`ll find help solving this problem in the plural section. Sometimes modifiers come between a subject and its verb, but these modifiers should not confuse the match between the subject and his verb. If your sentence unites a positive subject and a negative subject and is a plural, the other singular, the verb should correspond to the positive subject. A simple way to check if your themes and verbs are compatible is to provide a mental “she” for a plural theme and a “es” mind for a single subject. (Grammatically, the phrase “The speed of the downdrfts was intense” is the same as “It was intense”; the phrase “Two of the variables are false” is the same as “You are false”). The longer or more complex your sentences, the more likely it is that you will sometimes have to apply a mental test to your subject/verb agreement. The indeterminate pronouns of each, each, no, no, no one, are always singular and therefore require singular verbs. In a case like this, the path to perfect subject/verb harmony is to mentally dissect the sentence to determine which name or pronoun is related to which verb. You can`t always trust your ear, especially if the word you use is a word like “everyone,” “anyone” or “one” (everything is singular).
While “United States” or “NASA” may seem to you, as if it`s plural, the United States is considered a single country, and NASA (like other organizations or companies) is a unit (i.e. “NASA has reshaped its O joints” is just right, while “NASA redesigns its O rings” is not). On the other hand, a sentence subject that contains a “and” as part of the subject (z.B.” Increasing productivity and long-distance gain . . . ) is generally a plural subject, so you have to choose a verb that goes with a plural subject (z.B” are “, “reveal”). Sometimes names take strange forms and can fool us to think that they are plural if they are truly singular and vice versa. You`ll find more help in the section on plural forms of nouns and in the section on collective nouns. Words such as glasses, pants, pliers and scissors are considered plural (and require plural verbs), unless they are followed by the pair of sentences (in this case, the pair of words becomes subject).
By far, the style error I most often encounter as a writing teacher and editor is a subject/verb chord. As you already know, you need to be sure that mated subjects and verbs “go together” grammatically. What this usually means (especially if you write in contemporary form) is that if a subject is singular, its accompanying verb is added to an “s,” but if the subject is plural, the verb does not need “s” (i.e. “material age” and “material age” are both correct). It`s simple, isn`t it? Your ear confirms the subject/verb agreement for you.