Sub, Verb agreement
Hi Lee! In fact, there were 4 mistakes. The newsreader should have said: …news is just in; a group of tourists were bitten... Rabies is a serious threat; everybody is in hospital.
In English, singular subjects usually take singular verbs, and plural subjects take plural verbs. My brother lives in Moscow, but my sisters live in St Petersburg
But some subjects can be tricky. Firstly, indefinite pronouns like everybody, and everything have a plural meaning, but take singular verbs. Listen:
Everybody is in hospital… nobody is safe
What's more, some nouns which end in -s are actually singular, like news, mathematics, physics, diabetes and rabies. Listen:
Today’s news is that rabies is on the increase.
But, words like people, children, data and media need a plural verb even though they don’t end in –s.
The media have collected more data
Now a collective noun like family, team, government and group can be singular or plural, since we can view it as a single group, or as a collection of individuals. We can say:
The team has worked well this year
The team have promised to work harder this year
So with this example:
A group of tourists were bitten by a stray dog
Each tourist was bitten individually. The dog didn't bite them all together in one big bite! So to sum up: indefinite pronouns like everybody and nothing, take singular verbs. Some nouns which end with –s, like news and diabetes – are actually single. Other words like data and media are plural, and collective nouns like government and group can be single or plural.
Ok, that's all from me: good luck with your grammar challenge!
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Grammar Tables: Subject - verb agreement 2: Singular and plural verbs
Indefinite pronouns like everybody and anyone, take singular verbs. Some nouns which end with –s,
like news, maths and diabetes– are actually single. Other words like data and media are plural, and collective nouns like team, government and group can be single or plural.
Rule Some nouns which Example sentence
follow this rule
Some indefinite pronouns everybody, anyone, Everybody is in hospital have plural meanings, but everything take singular verbs
Some nouns which end mathematics, physics Rabies is on the increase
with –s are singular rabies, diabetes, news
Some nouns which don't end people,children,data,media The media have collected more data. with –s are plural
Some collective nouns can family,team,police,group The jury has found the defendant government , jury guilty be singular and plural The jury are having a discussion
As the world becomes additional world and integrated community, English language plays a vital role in connecting people and their ideas to at least one another. www.engforu.com is created by Maung Maung One. My goal is, the people of Myanmar who need to develop English Language must be supported as much as I can. Its purpose was to help expand learner access to the Basic English. I would like to give our special thanks to BBC, VOA for graciously allowing us to use their news stories as a basis of our learning activities. Their stories, photos and videos have made learning interesting and appropriate for adults.