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business english 2e by mary chapter 06

6
Subject-Verb Agreement

MARY ELLEN GUFFEY AND CAROLYN M. SEEFER

BUSINESS
ENGLISH
12e

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as
permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management
system for classroom use.
© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock. © Valeri Potapova/Shutterstock.


L E A R N I N G

O U T C O M E S

Level 1


▶. Locate the subjects of verbs despite prepositional
phrases, intervening elements, sentences
beginning with there and here, and inverted
sentence structure.

▶. Make verbs agree with subjects joined by and,
with company and organization names, and with
titles.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

2


Locating Subjects and Making Them Agree With
Verbs


Prepositional Phrases



Intervening Elements



Sentences Beginning with there and here



Inverted Sentence Order



Subjects Joined by and



Company and Organization Names





Titles

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

3


 Prepositional Phrases



When locating subjects, ignore prepositional phrases. Subjects of
verbs are never found in prepositional phrases.



Some of the most common prepositions are of, to, in, from, for,
with, at, and by.



Less easily recognized are the prepositions except, but, like, and
between.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

4


 Prepositional Phrases Examples
What are the subjects of the following sentences?

One of the companies is hiring new employees.
E-mail messages from the president are important.
Everyone except Stephanie and Todd is working.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

5


 Intervening Elements



When locating subjects, ignore intervening groups of words such
as those introduced by in addition to, such as, as well as,
including, and together with.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

6


 Intervening Elements Examples
What are the subjects of the following sentences?

TeleCon, Inc., along with several other companies, is submitting
bids.
The buyer, as well as two of our operators, is examining the
equipment.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

7


 Sentences Beginning With there and here



In sentences beginning with there or here, look for the
true subject after the verb.

There are several new products. (Invert: Several new
products are there.)
Here is the team of 15 people ready to help.
(Invert: A team of 15 people ready to help is here.)

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

8


 Sentences Beginning With there and here
What are the subjects of the following sentences?

There are several valid arguments.
Here is a list of possible agenda items.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
management system for classroom use. © Larysa Ray/Shutterstock
© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

9


 Inverted Sentence Order



Look for the subject after the verb in inverted sentences and
in questions.
Across the street is a recycling center.
(Invert: A recycling center is across the street.)
Is one of the technicians going to call?
(Invert: One of the technicians is going to call.)

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
management system for classroom use. © Larysa Ray/Shutterstock
© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

10


 Inverted Sentence Order
What are the subjects of the following sentences?

Down the block is a new gift shop.
Is one of the graduates going to apply?

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

11


 Subjects Joined by and



Compound subjects joined by and require a plural verb.

Our football team and our baseball team are doing well this
year.
Being informed and studying the issues are important.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

12


 Subjects Joined by and
What are the subjects of the following sentences?

Our office manager and our sales manager are interviewing applicants.
Writing concisely and proofreading carefully are important.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

13


 Subjects Joined by and



However, when each or every precedes subjects joined by and,
the subject is always singular.

Each period, comma, and semicolon is important. [Think:
Each single period, each single comma, and each single
semicolon IS important.]
Every driver and pedestrian is upset over the road closure.
[Think: Every single driver and every pedestrian IS
upset.]

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

14


 Company and Organization Names



Although they may appear plural, company and
organization names, including names of sports teams
and musical groups, are singular and require singular
verbs.
Starbucks is hiring new baristas.
Miller, Minski, and Steinberg, Inc., is hiring.
The rock band Counting Crows has released a new album.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
management system for classroom use. © Larysa Ray/Shutterstock
© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

15


 Company and Organization Names
What are the subjects of the following sentences?

Delta Airlines is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Fagan, Dunn, and Roe, Inc., is expanding.
The Boston Red Sox has won three World
Series in the past ten years.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

16


 Titles



Titles of publications and artistic works are singular and
require singular verbs.

The book New Rules of the Game offers
career advice for women.
Auguste Rodin’s sculpture The Three Shades contains three
identical figures dancing in a circle.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

17


 Titles
What are the subjects of the following sentences?

Seven Secrets to Successful Investing is a top seller at Amazon.com.
Edward Hopper’s famous painting
Nighthawks portrays people in a downtown diner late at night.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
management system for classroom use. © Larysa Ray/Shutterstock
© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

18


TRY
TRY YOUR
YOUR SKILL
SKILL

Identify the subject; then

1.

choose the correct verb
to complete these

A list of names and addresses (has/have)
been prepared.

2.

sentences.

The house, along with its contents,
(was/were) insured.

3.

There (is/are) a magazine and a book lying
on the table.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
management system for classroom use. © Larysa Ray/Shutterstock
© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

19


TRY
TRY YOUR
YOUR SKILL
SKILL

Identify the subject; then

4.Watts, Gold, and Kerr, Inc., (appears/appear) to

choose the correct verb

be moving.

to complete these

5.

sentences.

Our CEO and our CFO (plans/plan) to release
financial figures this week.

6.

Every car, truck, and van (has/have) to be
inspected.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

20


L E A R N I N G

O U T C O M E S

Level 2

▶. Make verbs agree with subjects joined by or or nor.
▶. Select the correct verbs to agree with indefinite
pronouns and collective nouns.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

21


Special Rules for Subject-Verb Agreement



Subjects Joined by or or nor



Indefinite Pronouns as Subjects



Collective Nouns as Subjects

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

22


 Subjects Joined by or or nor



When two or more subjects are joined by or or nor, the verb
should agree with the closer subject (the one following or or
nor).
Neither the house nor its outbuildings are insured.
Neither the outbuildings nor the house is insured.
Either Kim or you are responsible for supplies.
Either you or Kim is responsible for supplies.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

23


 Indefinite Pronouns as Subjects



Some indefinite pronouns are always singular, some are
always plural, and some may be singular or plural depending
upon the words to which they refer.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

24


 Indefinite Pronouns as Subjects

Always Singular

Always Plural

Singular or Plural

anyone, anybody

both

all

anything, each

few

more

either, every

many

most

everyone, everybody

several

some

everything, neither

any

nobody, nothing

none

someone, somebody
something

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
management system for classroom use. © Larysa Ray/Shutterstock
© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

25


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