SKILL 1 (SUBJECTS AND VERB)

SKILL 1 : SUBJECTS AND VERB

A sentence in English must have at least one subject and one verb. The thing should do as you red a sentence in the Structure section of the TOEFL test is to find the subject and the verb.

SINGULER VERB                                        PLURAL VERB

–          My friend lives in Boston. –          My friends live in Boston Verb + -s/-es = third person singular in the simple present tense

Noun + -s/-es = plural

–          That book on political parties is interesting. –          The ideas in that book are interesting. A propositional phrase that comes between a subject and a verb does not affect the verb.
–          My brother and sister live in Boston. Two (or more) subject connected by and take a plural verb.
–          Every man, women, and child needs love.

–          Each book ang magazine is listed the card catalog.

EXCEPTION : every  and aech  are always followed immediately by singular nouns. In this case, even when there are two (or more) nouns connected by and the verb is singular.
–          Growing flowers  is her hobby. A gerund used as the subject of a sentence takes a singular verb.
–          Some of the book is good.

–          A lot of the equipment is new.

–          Two-thirds of the money is mine.

–          Some of the books are good.

–          A lot of my friends are here.

–          Two-thirds of the pennies are mine.

The verb is determined by the noun (or pronoun) that follows of in most expression of quality. Notice in (i) and (l) :

Some of + singular noun + singular verb

Some of + plural noun + plural verb

–          One of my friends is here.

–          Each of my friends is here.

–          Every one of my friends is here.

EXCEPTIONS : one of, each of and every one of take singular verbs.

One of, each of, and every one of + plural noun + singular verb.

–          None of the boys is here. –          None of the boys are here.

(informal)

Subjects with none of are considered singular in very formal English, but plural verbs are often used in informal speech and writing.
–          The number of students in the class is fifteen. –          A number of students were late for class. COMPARE  in (t) : The number is the subject. In (u) : A number of is an expression of quality meaning “a lot of”. It is followed by a plural noun a plural verb.
–          There is a book on the shelf. –          There are some books on the shelf. The subject follows be when there is used*.

In (v) : The subject is book.

In(w) : The subject is books.

.*In the structure there + be, there is called an expletive.

EXERCISE

Underline the subjects once and the verbs twice in each of the following sentences. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect ( I ).

1. My best friend always helpful with problems. ( I )
Analysis:
The subject of the sentence above is My best friend, but there is no Verb. So, incorrect.
The correct sentence should be My best friend is always helpful and with problems.

2. The bus schedule has changed since last week. (C)
Analysis:
The subject is The bus and verb is has changed, so the sentence is Correct.

3. Accidentally dropped the glass on the floor. ( I )
Analysis:
The sentence doesn’t have a Subject. The verb is dropped, so it is incorrect.
The correct sentence should be Accidentally she or he dropped the glass on the floor.

4. The customer paying the clerk for the clothes. (I)
Analysis:
The sentence doesn’t have to be, is. So incorrect
It should be The customer is paying the clerk for the clothes.

5. The professor handed the syllabus to the students. (C)
Analysis:
The sentence has subject, the professor and verb, handed. So it is correct

6. Each day practiced the piano for hours. (I)
Analysis:
The sentence doesn’t have subject. The verb is practiced. So incorrect.
It should be Each day they practiced the piano for hours.

7. The basketball player tossed the ball into the hoop. (C)
Analysis:
The sentence has subject, The basket ball player and verb, tossed. So it is correct

8. The new student in the class very talkative and friendly. (I)
Analysis:
The sentence has subject, The new student, but no verb. So incorrect.
The correct sentence can be The new student in the class is very talkative and friendly.

9. Walking with the children to school.(I)
    Analysis:
The sentence doesn’t have a Subject. It has main verb, walking but without tobe. So incorrect.
The correct sentence could be She/he is walking with the children to school

10. The whales headed south for the winter. (C)
Analysis:
The sentence has a subject, the whales and verb, headed. So, it correct

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