10.  Modifiers between a subject and its verb

Ignore the modifiers that get between a subject and its verb to determine whether the verb is singular or plural. 


For example:

Ø Jamie, who was accused of stealing the purse along with his brothers, turns out to be innocent.

Ø Mary with her sisters likes to go window shopping.

Ø  The passengers who were on flight 101 were all killed last night. 

Ø  The traffic in LA and New York is notoriously bad.

Ø  John is one of the top scientists (who have won Nobel prizes).

Ø  John is the only one (of the top scientist) who has won Nobel prizes.

Ø  Peace between Jerry and his friends seems impossible. 

Ø  The recovery of the bankruptcy companies turns out to be slower than expected.


For example:  Who has the final say?

Ø The board members but not the principal have the final say.

Ø It is not the board members but the principal who has the final say.

Ø It is the board members, not the principal, that have the final say.



11.  Plural nouns singular in meaning

(a) Some plural nouns take singular verbs such as   athletics, Economics, politics, news, series, physics, linguistics, Statistics, Mathematics, mumps, and measles.  


For example:

Ø The news reported yesterday was rather gloomy.

Ø No news is good news.

Ø I cannot comprehend Statistics, which is a hard course to me. (The course/subject – Statistics)

Ø Politics is not something I would like to get involved in.

Ø The new series of “Harry Potter” is rather intriguing.

Ø Mumps is an infectious disease.


(b) On the other hand, some plural nouns, though referring to a single thing, are nonetheless plural and require a plural verb.


For example:

Ø If the statistics presented at the meeting were right, we are in big trouble. (the data – statistics)

Ø Many think the way earnings are reported is deeply flawed.

Ø For any years in which an individual is single, household earnings are simply equal to individual earnings.

Ø  If your only financial assets are long-term bonds, you need more diversification for risk protection.

Ø  Our thanks to Mary are from the bottom of our hearts.


12.  Nouns in pair, title of a book

Nouns occurring in pair take a plural verb unless the word “pair” is present.


For example:

Ø His trousers are in the closet.

Ø A pair of trousers is on the sofa.

Ø My glasses are on the table.

Ø A pair of glasses is on the table.

Ø Wuthering Heights is the best novel I have ever read.


13.  Reversed elements

When the sentence elements are reversed, the verb should still agree with the subject. 


For example:

Ø Behind the door are two black cats.  (= Two black cats are behind the door.)

Ø Racing on the streets are students from Gordon College .  (= Students from Gordon College are racing on the streets.)

Ø There is smoke coming out from your house.  (= Smoke is coming out from you house.)

Ø There are many unsolved mysteries.  (=May mysteries are unsolved.)


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