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  • 7.8 Subject-Verb Agreement. x
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Subject-Verb Agreement

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.021.139
Item type: 
section
The subject and verb must agree in number; use a singular subject with a singular verb and a plural subject with a plural verb. Unfortunately, this simple rule is often violated, especially in complex ... More

Intervening Phrase

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.322
Item type: 
section
Plural nouns take plural verbs and singular nouns take singular verbs, even if a phrase ending in a plural noun follows a singular subject or if a phrase ending in a singular noun follows a plural subject.A ... More

False Singulars

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.323
Item type: 
section
A few plural nouns are used so often in the singular that they are often paired with a singular verb.The agenda has been set for our next meeting.Frequently treated erroneously in this way are the plurals ... More

False Plurals

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.324
Item type: 
section
Some nouns, by virtue of ending in a “plural” -s form, are mistakenly taken to be plurals even though they should be treated as singular and take a singular verb (eg, measles, mumps, mathematics, politics, ... More

Parenthetical Plurals

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.325
Item type: 
section
When -s or -es is added parenthetically to a word to express the possibility of a plural, the verb should be singular. However, in most instances it is preferable to avoid this construction and use the ... More

Collective Nouns

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.326
Item type: 
section
A collective noun is one that names more than 1 person, place, or thing. When the group is regarded as a unit, the singular verb is the appropriate choice. (See also , Plurals, Collective Nouns.)The couple ... More

Compound Subject

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.327
Item type: 
section
When 2 words or 2 groups of words, usually joined by and or or, are the subject of the sentence, either the singular or plural verb form may be appropriate, depending on whether the words joined are singular ... More

Shift in Number of Subject and Resultant Subject-Verb Disagreement

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.328
Item type: 
section
In elliptical constructions involving the verb (ie, the second verb is omitted because it is understood), if the number of the subject changes, the construction is incorrect. ...

Subject and Predicate Noun Differ in Number

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.329
Item type: 
section
The predicate noun is the complement of a subject; it identifies, describes, or renames the subject. When the subject and predicate noun differ in number, follow the number of the subject in selecting ... More

Every and Many a

Stacy Christiansen

in AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th edition)

Print Publication Year: 
2007
Published Online: 
2009
DOI: 
10.1093/jama/9780195176339.022.330
Item type: 
section
When every or many a is used before a word or series of words, use the singular verb form.Many a clinician does not understand statistics. (But, better yet: Many clinicians do not understand statistics.) ... More

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