Subject Verb Concord Grammar Rules

What is Concord? Subject Verb Concord Grammar Rules Examples Exercises 

Subject Verb Concord Grammar Rules Examples Exercises

What is Concord:

The word 'Concord' is derived from the Latin for agreement. When applied to English grammar, the term is defined as the grammatical agreement between two words in a sentence. Some linguistics use the terms Concord and agreement interchangeably, Concord is used in reference to the proper relationship between adjectives and nouns they modify, while agreement refers to the proper relationship between verbs and their subjects or objects. 
Mixed Concord, also known as discord, is the combination of a singular Verb and a plural pronoun. This structure happens when there is a substantial distance between a Noun and its modifier and shows up most frequently in informal or spoken language. 

Concord Types with Examples:

Concord, as it is also often referred to, mainly focus on subject-verb agreement. This is subdivided into three categories -

1. Grammatical Concord 
2. Concord of Proximity 
3. Notional Concord 

1. Grammatical Concord: 

Some rules for Grammatical Concord:

◇ Rule 1: Singular subjects take singular verbs:
The grand rule of subject-verb concord is that a singular subject takes a singular verb and plural subject takes a plural verb. Singular verbs are inflected with suffix 's' or 'es', while plural verbs maintain the base form.

Examples ( Singular subjects take singular verbs):
i) The student takes lunch after the extra class.
ii) A serious situation calls for a serious approach.

Examples (Plural subjects take plural verbs):
i) The children wake up late every day. 
ii) The young boys play their part in the game.

◇ Rule 2: When a subject is joined to another Noun by subordinator, disregard the subjoined Noun or Noun phrase and focus is made on the first Noun.

i) The chairman alongside other members visits the old-age-home.
ii) The man with his children attends the function. 
iii) The teachers with the principal encourage the students.
iv) The soldiers as well as the police team watch over the issue.

◇ Rule 3: When more than one is used as a subject of a verb in simple present tense, the verb should be singular because the headword is one. 

i) More than one man is asked to participate in the programme. 
ii) More than one mango is shared among the children.

◇ Rule 4: When two nouns refer to one person at the subject position, the verb should be singular, of course, because it is one person.

i) My husband and boss never attends meeting late.
ii) The headmaster and secretary leads the procession. 
iii) The president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces defends bravely his country.

◇ Rule 5: When an indefinite pronoun pre-modifies a subject or acts as the main subject, the verb should be singular. 

i) Everyone loves his country. 
ii) Every boy and girl loves his or her mother.
iii) Nobody cares for everybody's sufferings. 

◇ Rule 6: Some nouns end with 's' but they are singular. You need to be careful because they are meant to go with singular verbs.

i) Mathematics is not an easy subject. 
ii) Statistics is the only subject not approved by this college. 
iii) News that comes from the source is not true at all.

◇ Rule 7: When a relative clause qualifies a noun, the verb in the relative clause works with the Noun it qualifies.

i) One of the girls that sit in the front row has been suspended. 
ii) Professor Sen is one of the lecturers who teach us well.

◇Rule 8: When a generic reference is used with the definite article 'the' as a subject of the verbs, the verb should be plural. 

i) The rich also cry. 
ii) The wise don't talk too much. 

◇Rule 9: When an uncountable noun is introduced with a quantifier or percentage, it attracts a singular verb. In the same manner, when a countable noun is introduced in percentage, it goes with a plural verb

i) A quarter of the land is occupied by the government. 
ii) Two cups of flour is enough for the cake. 
iii) A two-third of the building was completed. 

◇Rule 10: When a modal auxiliary verb precedes a main verb, the verb maintains the base form. 

i) The boy might come. 
ii) The matter should go to court. 
iii) He can discuss the matter with me. 

◇Rule 11: When the nouns have practically the same meaning and are placed together for emphasis, they take a singular verb.

i) The honour and glory of our country is at stake.
ii) The power and influence of Mahatma Gandhi was tremendous. 

◇Rule 12: When the nouns express a single idea, they take a singular verb.

i) Time and tide waits for none.
ii) Peace and prosperity is our ideal.

◇Rule 13: When the adjectives like 'much', 'more', 'little', 'less' are used as nouns, they take a singular verb. 

i) Much of their glory has faded away.
ii) More than a half century has passed since this city was made the capital. 

◇ Rule 14: Number, Variety
If these two words are themselves used as subjects, they take a singular verb. However, if they are used with another plural noun, then they take a plural verb. 

i) The number of admissions is very encouraging. 
ii) Variety is the spice of life. 
iii) A large number of boys were present. 
iv) A variety of exhibits were at display. 

◇ Rule 15: Many a
'Many a' is followed by a singular verb. 

i) Many a battle was fought on the soil of India. 
ii) Many a new project was rejected due to lack of manpower. 

2. Concord of Proximity:
The rule here says when a subject of a sentence is initiated by 'either ... or', 'neither ..... nor', 'not only .... but', only the Noun after the correlative conjunction, that is the one closer to the main verb is considered to determine the status of the verb.

i) Neither the vice principal nor the teachers honour the principal. 
ii) Either the secretary or I am supposed to conduct the event. 
iii) Not only the king but his subjects swear to the God of land.

3. Notional Concord:
Here under Notional Concord, we consider the relationship between collective nouns and their verbs. 
With collective nouns, the context determines whether the verb is singular or plural. If the Noun is taken as a unit, then the singular verb will be used but if the members in the group are seen as separate, then the plural verb will be used.

i) The committee meets once in a year.
ii) The committee contribute to issues as they are empowered.
iii) The jury was dissolved after the case.
iv) The jury take decision according to their conscience. 

Subject-Verb Concord Exercise:
1. Either of these two applicants _______ (is/are) fit for the job
2. The workmen as well as the supervisor ______ (have/has) been suspended. 
3. Many a student _____ (try/tries) hard to pass the entrance exam. 
4. Everyone of the factory _____ (take/takes) health scheme advantage. 
5. None of these books _____ (teach/teaches) me anything worthwhile. 
6. I as well as they ____ (am/are) tired of this routine work. 
7. Three-fourths of the work ____ (has /have) been completed. 
8. A number of people ____ (was/were) reported to be missing in the accident. 
9. Economics ____ (is/are) very profitable study. 
10. A variety of flowers ____ (please/pleases) the eye. 

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