San Jose City College

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  MAKING SUBJECTS AND VERBS AGREE
PART I: SVA with different kinds of subject nouns
Count nounsCount nouns have both singular and plural forms. They can be counted.

    noun - nouns
    sentence - sentences
 have singular and plural forms. The verb must agree with the noun.

   A new building is going up near the Arena.
   New condominiums are being built where the old canneries used to be.

Noncount nouns and abstract nouns Noncount nouns cannot be counted. They include substances (coffee and caffeine; milk and calcium) and abstract nouns (generosity, happiness, love, hatred). are always singular in form.
   The president's popularity is declining even further.
   Fundamentalism is a simplistic approach to religious belief.

When a collective noun refers to a whole group of animals, the noun is singular.
    The herd of cattle is soon to be slaughtered.
    A flock of birds is flying south in V-formation.

When a collective noun refers to a group of people, it is singular when the group is perceived as a single entity acting in unison and plural when the members of the group are perceived as individuals acting separately.A collective noun is used to define or classify a whole group of people, animals, things, etc. Some examples are audience, government, team, faculty, family, board, etc. Their number is usually singular (the group is regarded as a whole) but can be plural (when members of the group act individually).
   
Her family celebrates Christmas in Mexico.
    The faculty are preparing their final exams.

When an adjective combines with the definite article the, it forms a group noun and takes a plural verb.
Group nouns are formed by using the definite article + adjective. They always take a plural verb, and in this way they are different from collective nouns, which can be singular or plural depending on the writer's interpretation of the unity or separateness of the members' actions, decisions, or intentions.
   the Vietnamese
   the Chinese
   the rich
   the poor
   the sick
   the dead



Ethnic designations, however, do not always use the article THE. Note this example:
Blacks and Hispanics have shown little improvement in standardized test scores, which mainly reflects a socio-economic disparity.
    The poor are always among us.
    The rich don't always notice.

PRACTICE: Read each sentence carefully and identify the subject. Select the verb that agrees with the subject.
1. According to the New York Times, the Blackstone Group a $36 billion takeover of the country's largest owner of office buildings.
2. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Hanoi in November 2006.
3. Capitalism in Vietnam despite its communist government.
4. The government-run Pasteur Institute avian flu and AIDS prevention and treatment.
5. Mr. Bush and the leaders of Japan and China in agreement on the need to curb North Korea's nuclear program.
6. A crowd of curious, mostly younger Vietnamese the streets as Mr. Bush's motorcade drove by.
7. Vietnamese dissidents under house arrest during the international economic conference.
8. Economic prosperity more widespread in Vietnam.
9. A Vietnamese farm family more easily today than it did 10 years ago.
10. Rice in the northern and central areas of Vietnam.
11. Surplus rice production 300 years ago after the vast Mekong River Delta .
12. Today, the Vietnamese many types of rice.
13. Further economic growth throughout the next decade.

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