In this guide, bold font and parentheses are used to draw attention to subjects and verbs. Screen Reader Users: Please set your program’s punctuation level to 'most' or 'all' in order to hear the content in parentheses.
Every sentence needs both a subject and a verb to be complete. Some subjects are singular, and some are plural. A singular subject requires a certain form of a verb. In many cases, a plural subject requires a different form of a verb.
For example, the cat (subject) sits (verb), but the cats (subject) sit (verb).
A singular subject needs a singular verb, and a plural subject needs a plural verb.
The agreement of pronouns (such as “any,” “most,” “all,” “many,” “more,” “some,” “who,” “that,” and “which”) depends on the countable nature of the word or phrase to which the pronoun refers.
The agreement of pronouns such as “any,” “most,” “all,” “many,” “more,” “some,” “who,” “that,” and “which” depends on whether the word or phrase to which the pronoun refers is countable or noncountable.
Countable nouns can usually be expressed in singular and plural (tree/trees, cat/cats, student/students).
Noncountable nouns cannot usually be expressed in plural (research, literature, evidence).
Collective nouns refer to a single group that has multiple members. If the noun refers to the group as a unit, use a singular verb. If the noun refers to the group members as individuals, use a plural verb.
This rule is still applicable when the sentence is in an inverted word order (where the subject follows the verb).
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