AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR & LANGUAGE
the Verb have and Passive, with tenses of the Verb be).
(i) I have loved (Active) The Number and Person of any Finite Verb is deter-
mined by the Number and Person of the Subject.
(ii) I was loved (Passive)
PROBLEMS RELATING TO THE USES OF (i) They go.
PARTICIPLES (ii) He goes.
Here the Verb, go is in Plural form with they, a Plural
1. Participle is sometimes used to connect two sentences, Subject. And with Singular Subject he, it is in Singular form.
that is as conjunction. Remember that the rules relating to Subject Verb Agree-
2. Since the Participle is a Verb Adjective, it must be ment (Number) are based on two basic concepts.
attached to some Noun or Pronoun; in other words, it must
always have a proper ‘Subject of Reference’.
A gerund is that form of the Verb which end in — ing, For example,
and has the force of a Noun and a Verb. (i) He is playing in the field.
For example, ̄ ̄
Reading is his favourite pas SUB. VERB.
̄ time. SING. SING.
VERB + NOUN (ii) They are playing in the field.
The word reading is formed from the Verb read by add- ̄ ̄
ing — ing. Here heading is used as the Subject. It is there- SUB. VERB
fore, a Verb - Noun, and is called a Gerund. As both the PLU. PLU.
Gerund and the Infinitive have the force of a Noun and a RULES GOVERNING SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
Verb, they have the same uses. Thus in many sentences 1. Two or more singular Subjects connected by and
either of them may be used without any special difference usually take a verb in the Plural.
in meaning. For example,
For example, Oil and water do not mix.
(i) Teach me how to swim. 2. If two Singular Nouns refer to the same person or
thing, the Verb must be Singular.
My friend and benefactor has come.
(ii) Teach me swimming
Here, though my friend and benefactor are connected
̄ by and still the Verb is Singular. This is because both these
GERUND subjects refer to one person.
These two sentences convey the same meaning. 3. If two Subjects together express one idea, the Verb
Both the Gerund and the Present Participle end in — may be in the Singular.
ing. So they must be carefully distinguished. The differ- For example,
ences are — Bread and butter is his favourite food.
1. Gerund = Verb + Noun 4. If the Singular Subjects are preceded by each or ev-
Participle = Verb + Adjective ery, the Verb is usually Singular.
2. Gerund can be substituted with an Infinitive. But Every boy and girl was ready.
Participle cannot be substituted with an Infinitive. 5. Two or more Singular Subjects connected by “or”,
Note : If a Noun or Noun equivalent is used before a “nor”, “either ....... or”, “neither ....... nor” take a Verb in
Gerund, it should be in Possessive Case.
(i) Neither he nor I was there.
Incorrect- I hope you will excuse
(ii) Either Abdul or Amir has stolen the watch.
me leaving early.
6. When the Subject joined by or, nor are of different
numbers, the Verb must be Plural, and the Plural Subject
OBJ. GERUND must be placed next to the Verb.
CASE For example,
Correct- I hope you will excuse Correct- Rama or his brothers have done this
my leaving early. Incorrect- Rama’s brothers or Rama have done this.
̄ ̄ 7. When the Subjects joined by or, nor are of different
POSS. GERUND. Persons, the Verb agrees in Person with the one nearest to it.
CASE. For example,
Similarly, (i) Correct- Either he or I am mistaken.
(i) We rejoiced at his being promoted. (ii) Correct- Neither you nor he is to blame.
(ii) I insist on your being present. (iii) Incorrect- Either he or I is mistaken.