Subject-Verb Agreement Using Expressions of Quantity

Subject-verb agreement is a crucial element of English grammar. It refers to the agreement between the subject (the person or thing who performs the action) and the verb (the action word). One tricky aspect of subject-verb agreement is when dealing with expressions of quantity. These expressions can make it difficult to determine the correct verb agreement. In this article, we will explore how to use expressions of quantity correctly in a sentence to maintain proper subject-verb agreement.

Expressions of quantity refer to words or phrases that express a specific quantity or amount. For instance, words such as “some,” “a lot of,” “many,” “few,” and “most” are all examples of expressions of quantity. When using these expressions in a sentence, it is essential to understand how to maintain subject-verb agreement.

The rule for subject-verb agreement with expressions of quantity is straightforward. If the expression of quantity refers to a countable noun, the verb must be in the plural form. On the other hand, if the expression of quantity refers to an uncountable noun, the verb must be in the singular form.

For example:

– Some of the students are absent today. (Countable noun – students; plural verb – are)

– Some of the milk has gone bad. (Uncountable noun – milk; singular verb – has)

In the first sentence, the expression of quantity “some” refers to the countable noun “students,” and thus the plural verb “are” is used. In the second sentence, the expression of quantity “some” refers to the uncountable noun “milk,” and thus the singular verb “has” is used.

Here are a few more examples:

– Most of the apples are ripe. (Countable noun – apples; plural verb – are)

– Most of the information is correct. (Uncountable noun – information; singular verb – is)

– A lot of the students enjoy playing sports. (Countable noun – students; plural verb – enjoy)

– A lot of the rice has been eaten. (Uncountable noun – rice; singular verb – has)

– Many of the books are on the shelf. (Countable noun – books; plural verb – are)

– Much of the water is polluted. (Uncountable noun – water; singular verb – is)

– Few of the cars are electric. (Countable noun – cars; plural verb – are)

– Little of the sugar is left. (Uncountable noun – sugar; singular verb – is)

It is also essential to note that when an expression of quantity is used along with “each” or “every,” the verb must be singular.

For example:

– Every one of the students has a textbook. (Singular verb – has)

– Each of the apples is ripe. (Singular verb – is)

In conclusion, using expressions of quantity can be tricky when it comes to maintaining proper subject-verb agreement. However, by following the rule that if the expression of quantity refers to a countable noun, the verb must be in the plural form, and if the expression of quantity refers to an uncountable noun, the verb must be in the singular form, you can quickly determine the correct verb agreement. By keeping these guidelines in mind, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and communicates your message effectively.