Reviewing Subject-Verb Agreement

As requested by friends and students, for this issue, we will have this refresher on subject-verb agreement. Foremost, a verb must agree with its subject in person and number. Our failure to observe this basic rule leads to many errors in speech and writing.

Choose the correct verb in parentheses.
1. Rice and fish (is, are) the common diet of Filipinos.
2. Rice and fish (is, are) also sold in supermarkets.
3. Ham and eggs (is, are) my grandson’s favourite breakfast.
4. My best friend and adviser (comes, come) for a visit every month.
5. We Filipinos (practices, practice) a unique brand of hospitality.
6. “Study Now, Pay Later” (has, have) been beneficial to poor but deserving students.
7. The hue and cry of underpaid employees (has fallen, have fallen) on deaf ears.
8. The bank manager’s secretary and his friend (has, have) already left for the States.
9. The bank manager’s secretary and friend (deserves, deserve) better accommodation.
10. Basketball and volleyball (has become, have become) favourite team sports for women.

ANSWERS
1. is
2. are
3. is
4. comes
5. practice
6. has
7. has fallen
8. have
9. deserves
10. have become

REMEMBER
Use a plural verb for a compound subject joined by “and” referring to different persons or things. (See sentences 2, 8, and 10). Use a singular verb if the compound subject is taken as a unit or it refers to the same person or thing (See sentences 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9.) Use a plural verb if the subject is plural (See sentence 5.)