#EngClass: subject-verb agreement using the expressions of quantity

Before we start I have 2 questions. Fill in the gap with is/ are:

1. Some of the kids ___ hungry.

2. One of the books ___ stolen.

Correct! Do you know why? “: 1. Some of the kids ARE hungry.  2. One of the books IS stolen. OK, great! :) “: karena some itu “beberapa”, yang berarti jamak. Dan one itu satu yang berarti tunggal?”

Hmm.. It seems the questions were too easy for you. 2 more then:

3. Some of the student ___ nice.

4. All the equipment ___ new.

Correct! Do you know why? :) “: 3. is 4. is” Well done! :) “: both of them have singular subjects so the verbs must be singular too.”

Today’s topic is actually about subject-verb agreement using the expressions of quantity.

1. In most expressions of quantity, the verb is determined by the noun or pronoun that follows of. For example:

  1. Some of the book is good. (the noun is “book” = singular)
  2. Some of the books are good. (the noun is “books” = plural)
  3. A lot of the equipment is new. (equipment = uncountable noun = singular)
  4. A lot of my friends are nice. (friends = plural)
  5. Two-thirds of the money is mine. (money = uncountable n. = singular)
  6. Two-thirds of the pennies are mine. (pennies = plural).

2. “One of”, “each of”, and “every one of” are exceptions. They all take singular verbs. Example: One of the books is stolen.

3. Subjects with “none of” are considered singular in very formal English, but plural verbs are used in informal speech/writing. For example:

  1. None of the kids is here. (formal)
  2. None of the kids are here. (informal)

4. “The number” is followed by plural noun and takes singular verb. Example: The number of students is twenty.

5. While “a number” is followed by plural noun and takes plural verb. Example: A number of students are in the class.

Source: Understanding and Using English Grammar Second Edition by Betty Schrampfer Azar

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on March 31, 2014

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One response to “#EngClass: subject-verb agreement using the expressions of quantity

  1. Pingback: #EngClass: Subject Complement | @EnglishTips4U·

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