Grammar-QuizzesNoun PhrasesNouns › Nouns with Modifiers

Agreement—Nouns with Modifiers

Recognizing the true subject

monkey familybananas
 

Subject–Predicate Agreement when other structures come between

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.   (appositives)

The monkey under the bananas is hiding(prepositional phrase)

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

(present participle clause)

The family of monkeys is walking. (prepositional phrase)

George, who loves bananas, is hiding. (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 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

 

To maintain agreement  when modifiers are present

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quantity Phrase Nouns

Agreement with Verb in Relative Clause

 

 

 

Does the relative clause modify chimpanzee or monkeys?

SINGULAR AGREEMENT

The verb in the relative clause is singular in agreement when it modifies a singular quantifier noun such as one. Note that the relative clause specifies a particular one.

SUBJ + PRED QUANTITY PHRASE RELATIVE CLAUSE
NP + V PRONOUN + PP THAT + CLS

The chimpanzee is

one of the monkeys

[one = chimpanzee]

that is most closely related to humans.

ISOLATION CHECK    
P + NP NP + V + PRN THAT + CLS

Of the monkeys,

the chimpanzee is one

 

that is most closely related to humans.

of all the groupone like human
PLURAL AGREEMENT

The verb in the modifying clause is plural in agreement when it modifies a plural phrase noun. Note that the relative clause specifies a particular limited group.

SUBJ + PRED QUANTITY PHRASE RELATIVE CLAUSE
NP + V N + PP THAT + CLS

The chimpanzee is

one of the monkeys

 

that are most closely related to humans.

ISOLATION CHECK    
P + NP + THAT + CLS NP + V + PRN

Of the monkeys

that are most closely related to humans,

the chimpanzee is one¹.

 

chimpof the limited group
 

¹The chimpanzee and the bonobo are primates that are most closely related to humans.

Wikipedia contributors. "Bonobo." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 Jul. 2015. Web. 11 Jul. 2015.

 

Summary

A quantity phrase has two possible nouns that can be modified:

  1. the head noun [the quantifier]  one of the monkeys
  2. the noun that is the object of the preposition. one of the monkeys

 

The verb agreement in the relative clause will depend on the noun it modifies. Compare the examples above to understand how their meanings differ. Isolating the of-phrase (bringing it to the front of the clause) can help you see and understand the difference.

 

 

 

 

 

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.
Stress and 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.
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

"Most Likely to Succeed"

award
 

 

Read for Errors

Today is the last week of the school year. Traditionally, we vote for one person who is "most likely to succeed". Then, that person receives an award to go to one of the summer camps that are near by our school.

This year, I am voting for August. He is one of my classmates who is graduating this year. He is one of my classmates who is most unusual. First, August was born in October. Second, he is one of the few students who have skipped two grades. In fact, he is the only one to ever do so in my school.

Each of the children who are voting will need to think a a good reason to choose a person. Each of the children want to be the one selected. None of us who are voting, however, can vote for ourselves.

I hope August wins the award because he might be the only one of us who might actually enjoy going to camp and studying. The rest of us want to swim, play and goof off during the summer.

 

award – a special prize for doing something well  (cash, a medal or something else)

graduate – complete a year of school or level of schooling

most likely to succeed – probably will do well in life

skip a grade – advance past a grade; progress much more rapidly through the levels

 

 

 

 

Subject-verb agreement with quantity phrases and relative clauses

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

 

22.

23.

24.

25.

26.

27.

28.

29.

30.

31.