One thing everyone learned in the fourth grade that hasn’t changed is that your verb must agree with your subject–both in number and person. For example:
- He is anxious for his test results. (Singular verb is agrees with singular subject he.)
- They are the noisiest group in the office. (Plural verb are agrees with plural subject they.)
- Your order for six laptops is on the reception desk. (Singular verb is agrees with singular subject order.)
Where you have a subject with two or more words connected by and or both . . . and, the subject is plural and requires a plural verb.
- Andy and Sharon were nominated for office.
- Both the set up and delivery of the computer were included in the price.
However, when two things connected with and actually refer to the same thing, use a singular verb.
- Hamhocks and beans is his favorite New Year’s Day tradition. (Hamhocks and beans is one dish so it needs the singular verb is.)
- The secretary and treasurer of the association is Mary. (Two positions handled by one person requires the singular verb is.)
That’s it for today, but we will follow up with more next week. Go forth and engage in plural and singular subject/verb agreement!