Subject-Verb Agreement Quiz
This twenty-five question quiz covers the fundamentals of subject-verb agreement. Correct answers and brief explanations for each question are provided at the end of the quiz. I recommend taking this quiz after you have finished the two-part lesson on subject-verb agreement. This will help you to understand what aspects of subject-verb agreement you have mastered and what areas (if any) you need to review.
Subject-Verb Agreement Basics and Compound Subjects
- Jennifer (attends, attend) Georgia State University.
- Emily and John (is, are) visiting Atlanta.
- Mark or Susan (needs, need) to pick up Sam from daycare.
- The opinions in that article (is, are) controversial.
- Every book and article for the class (is, are) listed on the teacher’s website.
- Attending concerts (is, are) fun.
Expressions of Quantity
- Most of the book (is, are) exciting.
- Some of the books (is, are) out of print.
- One of the books (is, are) boring.
- None of the books (is, are) interesting.
- A number of employees (was, were) absent last week because of the snowstorm.
There + Be
- There (is, are) two cars in the driveway.
- There (isn’t, aren’t) any milk in the fridge.
- There (has been, have been) construction on that street for as long as I can remember.
- Why (is, are) there a line at the bank on a Tuesday morning?
Exceptions and Irregularities
- Sears (is, are) the store where we bought our fridge.
- The local news (begins, begin) at eleven.
- Economics (was, were) her most difficult subject.
- Measles (was, were) once a common disease.
- Fifty miles (is, are) too far to travel for a daily commute.
- One hundred minus twenty-five (is, are) seventy-five.
- The police (has arrived, have arrived) at the scene of the crime.
- Brazilian Portuguese (is, are) her native dialect.
- Many Japanese (is, are) fascinated by American popular culture.
- The young (has, have) their whole lives ahead of them.
Answers and Explanations
- Correct answer: attends. Singular subjects (“Jennifer”) take singular verbs. A singular noun normally does not end in s/es but a singular verb does.
- Correct answer: are. Compound subjects (“Emily and John”) require plural verbs.
- Correct answer: needs. When subjects are joined by or, look at the noun closest to the verb to determine whether the verb should be singular or plural. “Susan” is singular and needs a singular verb.
- Correct answer: are. Interrupting phrases (“in that article”) do not affect subject-verb agreement.
- Correct answer: is. Each and every are immediately followed by singular nouns. Even when there are two or more nouns connected by and, the verb is singular.
- Correct answer: is. A gerund used as a noun (“watching”) takes a singular verb.
- Correct answer: is. When using expressions of quantity, the verb is usually determined by the noun or pronoun that follows of. “Book” is singular and requires a singular verb.
- Correct answer: are. This question follows the same rule as the previous question. However, this time the noun following of (“books”) is plural and requires a plural verb.
- Correct answer: is. Plural nouns that are preceded by one of, each of, and every one of take singular verbs.
- Correct answer: is AND are. Singular and plural verbs are both grammatically correct in this case. Subjects preceded by none of used to be considered singular in formal English. However, it is now acceptable to treat “none of” subjects as plural in informal speech and some types of formal writing.
- Correct answer: were. A number of is an expression of quantity that is always followed by a plural subject and plural verb. Don’t confuse this with the number of, which is a subject and is singular.
- Correct answer: are. The subject comes after the “to be” verb when using there + be. The plural “two cars” requires a plural verb.
- Correct answer: isn’t. “Milk” is singular and takes a singular verb.
- Correct answer: has been. The singular “construction” requires a singular verb.
- Correct answer: is. Using there + be in a question reverses the word order so that “there” follows “be.” “A line” is treated as a singular entity and requires a singular verb.
- Correct answer: is. Some proper nouns (“Sears”) end in s/es even though they are singular.
- Correct answer: begins. “News” is always singular.
- Correct answer: was. Fields of study that end in ics (such as “economics”) are singular.
- Correct answer: was. Some illnesses (“measles”) that end in s/es are singular.
- Correct answer: is. Expressions of time, money and distance (“fifty miles”) usually take a singular verb.
- Correct answer: is. Mathematical expressions take singular verbs.
- Correct answer: have arrived. A handful of English nouns are plural but do not end in s/es. “Police” is one of these nouns.
- Correct answer: is. Proper nouns that can refer to both a language and a nationality are singular when they refer to the language.
- Correct answer: are. However, they are considered plural when they identify nationality or ethnicity.
- Correct answer: have. Some adjectives can be used as plural nouns when they are preceded by the. “The young” is such an example.