FOCUS ON THE SUBJECT AND ACT IN TUNE Part 2 : Article By Mr. Gopalakrishnan


In continuation of the article on this subject, additional concepts are covered under Part-2.

XI. A few of the English sentences are said to be presumptive in nature. In such sentences the verb is written in a special way.

Ex.19. If I were a King, I would distribute the land to all the landless.

Even though the subject in this sentence, ‘I’ is first person-singular, the verb ‘were’ only written, which is plural. This sort of disagreement is on account of the sentence being presumptive or imaginative in character.

XII. Certain word groups such as ‘together with’, ‘along with’, ‘besides’, ‘with’, ‘in addition to’ and ‘as well as’ when they appear along with the noun, (subject) stand only as explanatory in nature and these do not affect the number of the noun.     

Ex.20. My sister, along with my brother-in-law, has come.

Ex.21. God’s grace, in addition to the doctor’s skill, has saved  the patient.

Ex.22. My friend, along with his colleagues, has arrived at my residence.

Ex.23. Tea, with sugar, is not good  for diabetic patients, the doctors  say.

Ex.24. The Head Master, besides other teachers, is to be honoured.

XIII.   Some of the nouns or quantities are converted to plural by an apostrophe. The verb in those sentences are projected as plural.

Ex.25. How many p’s are there in the word “preposition”?

Ex.26. Find how many 2’s are there in the number 23256222?

XIV. When  “neither” and “nor” are used as correlatives, the verb will agree with the nearer subject. This rule in English is known as the ‘proximity’ rule. 

Ex.27. Neither the party leader nor his followers were able to give a convincing reply.

Ex.28. Neither his friends nor  Balu was knowing the exact position.

XV. When a pronoun is introduced in a sentence, its number should be identified  correctly, in relation to its antecedent, in order to place the verb in order.

Ex.29. Mr.Abdul Kalam was one of the scientists who, were instrumental in India’s technological advancement.

In this sentence the pronoun ‘who’ refers to scientists and the verb is written in plural accordingly.

XVI. With the pronoun, ‘you’ ,always the  verb ‘are’ is used irrespective of whether the person referred to is singular or plural.

Ex.30. You are all welcome!

Ex.31. As the most dependable friend of mine, you are always respected.

XVII. In interrogative sentences, sometimes the verb is put before the subject and it should be identified with reference to the noun that follows. If the subject is  written first, the verb will ,of course, be  in agreement with the related subject

Ex.32. How are my friends?

Ex.33. Where is my pen?

Ex.34. How many candidates are there in the hall?

Ex.35. Which are the points you want to project?

XVIII. When two or more pronouns are written in a sentence,the verb should be put according to the proximate subject.

Ex.36. I or you are to be blamed.