Nouns with Modifiers Agreement

Recognize the true subject

monkey family bananas
 

 

To maintain agreement  when modifiers are present

 

SINGULAR AGREEMENT

When a noun is followed by a modifying clause or phrase, make sure that the verb agrees with the noun being modified (and not the noun in the phrase or clause.)

The monkey, George, is hiding.   (See appositives.)

The monkey  under the bananas is hiding(See prepositional phrase.)

The silly looking monkey  peeping out from under the bananas is hiding.

(See Present Participle Clauses.)

The family of monkeys is walking. (See prepositional phrase.)

George, who loves bananas, is hiding. (See aside comments.)

move to rightthe verb agrees with subject

PLURAL AGREEMENT

Agreement between noun and verb in main clause is maintained. The verb agrees with the noun before the modifying clause or phrase.

The monkeys – George, Martha, and Tillie – are taking a walk.

The monkeys with a little one are taking a walk.

The cartoon-like monkeys wearing summer clothes are taking a walk.

The monkeys dressed like Bono are taking a walk.

The monkeys, who look silly in clothes, are taking a walk.

move to rightthe verb agrees with subject

 

intervene (v.) - come between

Also see shortened modifying clauses Past Participle Clauses  |  Present Participle Clauses

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

 

       modifies students
*One of the girls who is learning English was born in India.

(a misidentified subject)

 

*Of the girls who is learning English, one was born in india.

(You can more easily see the error if you reword the sentence.)

 

 

 
SOLUTION
MAIN CLAUSE

  modifies students

One [of the girls] was born in India. 

 The subject is one.

MODIFYING CLAUSE

             modifies students

of the girls (who) are learning English

 The subject is who which refers to girls.

TOGETHER IN ONE SENTENCE

One of the girls who are learning English was born in India.

 (The verb are is in the modifying clause whose subject is who (girls).

 

*Yellow highlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.

 

 

Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Stress and Diet

 

 

 

Subject-verb agreement in sentences

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

1.
man in hamster wheel

2.
guy relaxing



Unusual Noun Forms
3.



Clause Agreement
4.
YMCA sports

5.
yoga class



Quantity Phrases
6.
calendar



Irreg Agreement
7.
fruit and muffin



Fruit / Fruits
8.
fries

9.
salmon Too much cholesterol in your body may cause heart disease.

10.
food label



Quantifiers
11.
handful of peanuts



Quantity Phrase-shape
12.
computer stress



Quantity Phrases
13.
heart attack
14.
heart health class



Quantity Phrases
15.
data



Irreg Plural Nouns
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Stress Management

stressed
 

 

Read for Errors

Stress and anxiety in today's world of high-speed electronics are ever present. The bills aren't going to stop coming, there's never enough hours in the day for all your errands, and your career or family responsibilities will always be demanding. Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems.

Stress and anxiety management start with identifying the sources of stress in your life. Accepting responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining stress is what allows you to take control of it. The ultimate goal —with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun— are a balanced life.

anxiety (n.) — having an uneasy, worried feeling

balanced (adj.) — sharing equally

errands (pl. noun) — work, chores, tasks

ever present (adj.) — always around

sources (pl. noun) — causes

ultimate (adj.) — final, possibly most important

 

 

 

Subject-verb agreement in a paragraph

  1. Read the sentence.  Identify the subject (without its modifying clauses and phrases) and the verb.
  2. Decide whether the agreement in the sentence is correct or incorrect.
  3. Read the feedback to check your response.

 

16.
Stressand anxiety in today's world of high-speed electronics are ever present.


   

17.
The bills aren't going to stop coming, there's never enough hours in the day for all your errands, and your career or family responsibilities will always be demanding.
   

18.
Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems.
   

19.
Stress and anxiety management start with identifying the sources of stress in your life.
   

20.
Accepting responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining stress is what allows you to take control of it.
   

21.
The ultimate goal —with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun— are a balanced life.