A. SUBJECT – VERB AGREEMENT
1 . Two or more Singular Subjects connected by and usually take a Verb in
Incorrect- Hari and Ram is here.
Correct- Hari and Ram are here.
2. If two Singular Nouns refer to the same person or thing, the Verb must be
Incorrect- The Secretary and Principal are coming.
Correct- The Secretary and Principal is coming.
(Here the same person is .Secretary as well as Principal)
3. If the Singular Subjects are preceded by each or every, the Verb is usually
Incorrect- Every boy and girl were ready.
Correct- Every boy and girl was ready.
4. Two or more Singular Subjects connected by or, nor, either ….. or, neither
…. nor take a Verb in the Singular.
Incorrect- Neither he nor I were there.
Correct- Neither he nor I was there.
5. When the Subjects joined by ‘or/nor are of different numbers, the Verb must
be Plural, and the Plural Subject must be placed next to the Verb.
lncorrect- Neither the Assistant Masters nor the Headmaster was present.
Correct- Neither the Headmaster nor the Assistant Masters were
6. When the Subjects joined by or, nor are of different persons, the Verb
agrees in person with the one nearest to it.
Incorrect- Either he or I is mistaken.
Correct- Either he or I, am mistaken.
7. A Collective Noun takes a Singular Verb when the collection is thought of
as a whole, a Plural Verb when the individuals of which it is composed are
Correct- The Council has chosen the President.
Correct- The military were called out.
8. Some Nouns which are singular in form but plural in meaning, take a Plural
Incorrect- Mathematics are a branch of study in every school.
Correct- Mathematics is a branch of study in every school.
9. Words joined to a Singular Subject by with, together with, in addition to, or,
as well as, etc. are parenthetical, and therefore do not affect the number of
Incorrect- The Chief, with all his men, were massacred .• Correct-The chief,
with all his men, was massacred.
10. When the Subject of the Verb is a Relative Pronoun care should be taken
to see that the Verb agrees in Number and Person with the Antecedent of the
Incorrect- I, who is your friend, . will guard you,r interests.
Correct- I, who am your friend will guard your interests.
B. USES OF PARTICIPLES AND INFINITIVES
11. Ask, advise, allow, command, force, forbid, invite, encourage, compel,
beg, order•, imagine, instruct, permit, persuade, tell, require, remind, teach,
etc. are followed by Object + To +V2
Incorrect- He advised to do it by me.
Correct- He advised me to do it. But if these are used in Passive Voice, then
they are followed by To +V,.
Correct- She was permitted to go with him.
12. Know is followed by how/ where/when/why and Infinitive.
Incorrect- I know to write a letter.
Correct- I know how to write a letter.
13. After let, bid, behold, watch, see, feel, make etc. we use Bare-Infinitive
and not To-infinitive.
Incorrect- I heard him to speak on several subjects.
Correct- I heard him speak on several subjects.
14. Bare Infinitive is used after Modal Auxiliaries (can, could, may, might,
shall, should, will, would, must, dare not, need not).
Incorrect- You need not to work hard.
Correct- You need not work hard.
15. Had better, had rather,had as soon … as … , had sooner etc. are followed
by Bare Infinitive.
Incorrect- He had better to go now.
Correct- He had better go now. 16. Conjunction than is also fol¬lowed by Bare
Incorrect- He had better read than to write.
Correct- He had better read than write.
17. When but is used as a Preposition and preceded by any form of the Verb
do, then but is followed with Bare Infinitive.
Incorrect- He did nothing but to wander.
Correct- He did nothing but wander.
18. Every Participile must have a Subject of Reference.
Incorrect- Being a rainy day Vijay decided to stay at home.
Correct- It being a rainy day Vijay decided to stay at home.
19. For completed action Having + Va is used in Active Voice, whereas
Having + been + Va or Being + Va is used in Passive Voice. After should not
be used in such a sentence.
Incorrect- After the leader having been killed, the followers ran away.
Correct- The leader having been killed, the followers ran away.
20. Participles like considering, judging, referring, concerning, regarding,
viewing, broadly speaking etc. do not take any Subject of Reference.
Correct – Considering the case, I took the decision.
Here I is not a Subject of Reference of considering. So, there is no Subject of
Reference for ‘considering, still the sentence is correct.
C. USES OF VERBS
21. When there are two Subjects in a sentence and they are not in the same
Number, then we must have to use separate Auxiliaries (is, are, am, was,
were, have, has) for both of them.
Incorrect- Three- killed and one were injured.
Correct- Three were killed and one was injured.
22. A single Verb should be made to serve two Subjects, only when the form
of Verb is same for both the subjects.
Incorrect- I am seventeen years old and my sister fourteen.
Correct- I am seventeen years old and my sister is fourteen.
23. Two auxiliaries can be used with one principal Verb, only when the form of
the principal Verb is appropriate to both the auxiliaries. ‘
Incorrect- He never has, and never will take such strong measures.
Correct- He never has taken, and never will take such strong measures.
24. When there is only one auxiliary to two principal Verbs it should be
correctly associated with the both.
Incorrect- Ten candidates have passed one failed.
Correct- Ten candidates have passed, one has failed.
25. A Past Tense in the main clause should be followed by a Past Tense in
the subordinate clause.
Incorrect- He succeeded because he works hard.
Correct- He succeeded because he worked hard.