SUBJECT and VERB  AGREEMENT (Danish: kongruens)

Answers to test:

1. Water, green, and shade - those were the three major factors in Arab life.
     (plural verb: "water + green + shade" make three)

2. These are the main ingredients: water, flour, and yeast.
     (plural: there are three ingredients)

3. Bread and butter was all they offered to us.
    (singular: "bread and butter" is a unit concept like "bed and breakfast" or "bacon
     and eggs")

4. Every diagram and chart was drawn with precision.
    (singular: "every" takes a singular verb = focus on the individual diagram)

5. The number of incidents has been increasing.
     (singular: the number is one entity)

6. A number of books are still lying on the floor.
    (plural: many books are still lying on the floor)

7. Half of the hamsters were rejected by their mother.
    (plural: although only half of them, still more than one hamster were rejected)

8. Neither of the boys is able to swim the distance.
    (singular: "neither" focuses on the individual boy)

9. The audience is restless.
     (singular: the audience as one group)

10. The audience are discussing why the concert was stopped.
      (plural: people in the audience are discussing among them)

11. Two dollars is far too much.
      (singular: $2.00 is the price - ask: how much?)

12. The two dollars are both of silver.
       (plural: the dollars are coins - ask: how many?)

13. Spaghetti and meatballs is my favourite dish.
      (singular: concept)

14. Spaghetti and meatballs are the major ingredients of a favourite dish.
      (plural: two ingredients)

15. Four tablespoons of salt has made the soup inedible.
      (singular: the "adding of salt" is considered a concept, not the
        spoonfuls in themselves - ask: what, not how many?)

16. Three fourths of that nation is impoverished.
      (singular: 3/4 is a mathematical concept; focus is not on each of the fourths)

17. Twenty dollars includes the price of breakfast.
       ($20 is the price, we are not thinking of twenty $1 bills or coins)

18. The black trousers are more appropriate.
       (plural: "trousers" are always plural)

19. Under the glittering Christmas tree there was (or: were) a twirling red top, a
      blue bicycle, a black cocker spaniel, and two gaily dressed dolls.
      (singular or plural: the items may be considered as a whole or individually)

20. Neither the manager nor the cashier has any ideas.
      (singular: ruled by "neither")

21. Every teacher and student wants to be at the meeting.
      (singular: ruled by "every")

22. Either Hank or I am going to pitch in the opening game.
      (singular: "Either" takes a singular verb)
      Better: Either Hank is going to pitch the opening game, or I am.

23. Shakespeare's works are known all over the world.
      (plural: focus on all the plays)

24. The Complete Works of Shakespeare is a heavy book.
       (singular: the "CWoS" is a book)

25. His family are all dentists.
      (plural: focus on the individual members of the family)

26. Neither his debt nor his failures were enough to keep him from going on
      (plural:in a compound of singular and plural subjects the nearer subject rules the

27.  Neither his skills nor his stamina is enough to earn him a permanent position on
       the team.
      (sing: in a compound of sing. and plur. subjects the nearer subject rules the verb)

28. The motto and guiding idea is ...
       (singular: synonyms take a singular verb)

29. There are many reasons why ...
      (plural: the preliminary subject "There" refers to the plural "reasons")


always singular:             -one (anyone, someone, no one)
                                        -body (anybody etc.)
                                         each, either, every, neither, many a, one
                                         acoustics, aesthetics, civics,
                                         economics, gymnastics,
                                         mathematics, physics,
                                         politics, social studies,
                                         measles, mumps,
                                         advice, business, furniture, information, knowledge, money,
                                         news, progress
                                         (and many others)

always plural:                  ashes, barracks, cattle, clothes, pliers, police, proceeds,
                                         tactics, trousers ...

singular and plural:        amends, athletics, family, headquarters,
                                        means, politics, works (factory) ...;

collective nouns:           army, committee, crew, family, flock, government, herd, team

                                        ex. The Government were discussing the bill (among them).
                                              The Government has done everything possible.

Note:   a) one of the planets that circle (plural) the earth is Mercury;
                ("that" refers to all "planets", not just one of them)
            b) one of the planets is Mercury.