CBSE Class 9 English Subject Verb Concord Notes

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concord’ means ‘agreement’. So ‘subject-verb concord’ suggests that the verb agrees with the number and person of the subject.

In other words, a Singular object takes a singular verb and a Plural subject takes a plural verb.

E.g. i) She is a good speaker. (Singular subject_______ Singular verb)

ii)They are good speaker. (plural subject_______ plural verb)

In the sentence i) the subject ‘she’ is in the Singular number : the verb ‘is ‘ is also in the Singular.

In the sentence ii) the subject ‘they’ is in the plural number : the verb ‘are ‘ is also in the plural.

E .g.

  1. Student are taking a test.
  2. Rohan does not get up before sunrise.
  3. His brother does not speak a lie.
  4. He hates milk but his sister does not.
  5. Jenny is playing basketball.
  6. The boys have stopped playing.

In the above sentence, the verb have changed according to the person of the subject. Thus we know that the verb agrees with the subject in Number and person. This is know as subject – verb concord.


(a) you are Advised to be Careful in the following Cases:

  1. When the subject is a noun phrase.
  2. When to more nouns from the subject.
  3. Sentences beginning with ‘there’.
  4. Relative pronouns introducing a clause.
  5. Plural noun / proper nouns.
  6. Special cases of collective nouns.

(A) Noun phrase as subject.

Verb must agree with the head-word.

When the subject is ‘one of’ followed by a plural noun, it takes a Singular verb.

Here the verb agrees with ‘one’.

E.g. (i) One of my uncles lives in U.S.A.

(ii) One of the thieves has been caught.


(B) Two or more singular subjects.

If they are joined by ‘and’ and refer to two separate persone or thing, use a Plural verb.

E .g.(i) Mr. and Mrs. Mathew are having lunch. (Two persons)

(ii) Mumbai and Delhi are big cities. (Two cities)

Two nouns qualified by ‘each’ and ‘every’ require a singular verb even though Connected by ‘and’.

E.g. Every boy and every girl was given a rose.


If who singular nouns joined by ‘and’ refer to same person or thing ,the verb must be in the singular . 

E.g. (i) The singer and poet is dead.

(ii) The horse and cart is at the door.:

(iii) All work in no play makes jack a dull boy.


When two subjects together express one idea, the verb may be in the singular . 

E.g. (i) Two and two makes four .

(ii) Bread and butter is my brother’s favorite.

When two or more singular subjects are connected by ‘with’ , ‘together with ’,’and not’, ‘besides’, ‘no less then’, the verb is in singular.

E.g. (i) She and not you is at fault.

(ii) The thief with his accomplice was arrested.

(iii) My neighbour together with his children has left.


When two subjects are joined by ‘as well as’ the verb agrees with the first subject.

E.g.(i) She as well as her classmates is hardworking.

(ii) Her classmates as well as she are hardworking.

(iii) Tendulker’ s children as well as Tendulker are coming.

two or more singular subjects Connected by ’or’, ‘nor’, ‘either ___ or ’,

’neither ___ nor’, ’each’, ‘every’, ‘everyone’, are followed by a singular verb.

E.g. (i) Rohan or Sohan has broken this toy.

(ii) Each of these flower is very beautiful.

(iii) Either of these two will serve my purpose.

(iv) Either John or Ron is studying in that room.

(v) Neither or them reaches the standard required.

(vi) Neither he nor his friends has arrived.


In sentence beginning with ‘there’ the verb agrees with the number of the noun that follows it.

E.g. There are fifty rooms in my school. There is a hung rush in the Shopping Mall.

There is no air conditions in this room.

If Relative Pronoun begins a clause, the verb follows its antecedent in Number, Gender, and Persons.

E.g. I met Mary who is now recovering from Typhoid. What she needs is a cup of hot coffee.


Plural noun / proper nouns

Nouns that indicate the name of a country, province or title of a book take singular subjects .

E.g. (i) ’The Arabian Nights’ is a collection of stories.

(ii) West India is a group of Island.


Plural number referring to distances, weights, amounts of money represent a single figure or quantity . It is treated as a singular subject and takes a singular verb.

E.g. (i) Fifty kilometers is not a long distance now.

(ii) Five Thousand Rupees is not a petty amount.


Some noun which are plural in form but singular in meaning , take a singular . Verb.

E.g. (i) English is spoken all over the world.

(ii) Mathematics is an interesting subject.


‘A number of’ takes a plural verb, while ‘The number of’ takes a singular verb.

E.g. (i) A number of accidents were reported in the newspaper.

(ii) The number of dropouts was quite less.


‘Few’, ‘a few’, ‘both’, ‘many’, ‘several’ are plural and take verbs in the plural form.

E.g. (i) Both the applicants are well qualified.

(ii) Many applications have been received.


Collective Nouns :

A collective Noun generally takes a singular verb when the subject stand for collection as a whole.

E.g. The Jury was unanimous in its verdict.


A collective Noun takes a plural verb when the subject stands for the individuals of which it is composed.

E.g. The jury were divided in their opinions.


If two subject are joined by ‘not only _________but also’, the verb agrees with the second subject.

E.g. Not only she but her friends also were present at the party. E. Subject of Different Numbers :


If two subjects (of different number) are joined by ‘not only ________but also’, ‘neither _______ nor’, either _________or’ then verb agrees with the subject nearest Rest to it.

E.g. (i) Not only she but her friends also were present at the party.

(ii) Not only she her friends but also she was present at the party.

(iii) Neither the principal nor the teachers are interested in their duties.

(iv) Either the teachers or the principal has helped the students.

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