com150_manual_grammar

com150_manual_grammar - Grammar 10 Make subjects and verbs...

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Grammar
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10 Make subjects and verbs agree. In the present tense, verbs agree with their subjects in number (singular or plural) and in person (frst, second, or third). The present-tense ending -s is used on a verb iF its subject is third-person singular; otherwise the verb takes no ending. Consider, For example, the present- tense Forms oF the verb give : SINGULAR PLURAL FIRST PERSON I give we give SECOND PERSON you give you give THIRD PERSON he/she/it gives they give Yolanda gives parents give The verb be varies From this pattern, and unlike any other verb it has special Forms in both the present and the past tense. PRESENT-TENSE PAST-TENSE FORMS OF BE FORMS OF BE I am we are I was we were you are you are you were you were he/she/it is they are he/she/it was they were Problems with subject-verb agreement tend to arise in certain tricky contexts, which are detailed in this section. 10 a Words between subject and verb Word groups oFten come between the subject and the verb. Such word groups, usually modiFying the subject, may contain a noun that at frst appears to be the sub- ject. By mentally stripping away such modifers, you can isolate the noun that is in Fact the subject. The samples on the tray in the lab need testing. © High levels of air pollution damages the / respiratory tract. The subject is levels, not pollution. 24
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has © The slaughter of pandas for their pelts ha ve ^ caused the panda population to decline drastically. The subject is slaughter, not pandas or pelts. NOTE: Phrases beginning with the prepositions as well as, in addition to, accompanied by, together with, and along with do not make a singular subject plural: The gov- ernor, as well as his aide, was [not were ] indicted. 10 b Subjects joined by and Compound subjects joined by and are nearly always plural. © Jill’s natural ability and her desire to help others have has led to a career in the ministry. ^ EXCEPTION: If the parts of the subject form a single unit, however, you may treat the subject as singular: Bacon and eggs is my favorite breakfast. 10 c Subjects joined by or or nor With compound subjects connected by or or nor, make the verb agree with the part of the subject nearer to the verb. is © If a relative or neighbor are abusing a child, ^ notify the police. were © Neither the lab assistant nor the students w as able ^ to download the program. 10 d Indefinite pronouns such as someone IndeFnite pronouns refer to nonspeciFc persons or things. Even though the following indeFnite pronouns may seem to have plural meanings, treat them as singu- lar in formal English: anybody, anyone, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, neither, no one, some- body, someone, something. sv agr 25 Subject-verb agreement
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favors © Nearly everyone on the panel fa vor the new budget.
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com150_manual_grammar - Grammar 10 Make subjects and verbs...

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