Review on Subject-Verb Agreement

Choose the correct verb to complete the following sentences.

  1. Who says that physics (isn’t aren’t) a difficult subject?
  2. Statistics (shows, show) that women dominate the teaching profession.
  3. Statistics (becomes, become) boring if the teacher is bookish.
  4. Measles (has, have) affected children having no protection from the disease.
  5. Billiards (has, have) caught the interest of school dropouts.
  6. Just imagine how fake news (has, have) destroyed the reputation of some politicians!
  7. It is said that news (spreads, spread) like wildfire.
  8. Mathematics (brings, bring) out the best among students with the gift of numbers.
  9. Acoustics (refers, refer) to the study of sounds.
  10. (Is, Are) shingles contagious?
  11. Calculus (is, are) offered in high school.
  12. The acoustics in the audiovisual room of the college (needs, need) improvement.
  13. Statistics (was, were) my son’s favorite subject when he was in college.
  14. Mumps (is, are) a disease characterized by swelling along the neck.

Answers

  1. Isn’t
  2. show
  3. becomes
  4. has
  5. has
  6. has
  7. spreads
  8. brings
  9. refers
  10. is
  11. Is
  12. need
  13. was
  14. is

REMEMBER

Use singular verbs for nouns plural in form but singular in meaning. Such nouns include BILLIARDS, CALCULUS, CIVICS, ECONOMICS, MATHEMATICS, MEASLES, MOLASSES, MUMPS, NEWS, PHYSICS and RICKETS. (See sentences 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 14.)

ACOUSTICS and STATISTICS may be either plural or singular depending on the meaning intended. Use the singular verb if ACOUSTICS refers to the science of sound; use the plural verb if it refers to the quality or properties that determine the audibility of sound in an auditorium, etc. (See sentences 9 and 12.)
Use singular verb for STATISTICS if it refers to a school subject or field of study; use the plural verb if it refers to numerical data. (See sentences 2, 3 and 13.)