S+V Agreement and other grammar rules are vital for verbal section of MAT

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Unlike CAT where 24 out of 34 questions of verbal ability are from comprehension only, Language comprehension section of MAT exam comprises only 20 questions from comprehension remaining questions are miscellaneous prominently from the topics such as Para Jumble; Fill in the Blanks; Verbal Reasoning; Syllogisms; Contextual usage; Analogies; Antonyms; Sentence Correction, Sentence completion, Sentence correction, Odd sentence out, Idioms, One Word Substitution, etc. Among all these the concept which we need to master is the subject verb agreement it is also known as the CPU of English as whatever we write it has to follow s+v agreement . The core idea of s+v agreement says a singular subject should be followed by a singular verb and a plural subject by a plural verb. The trouble starts when we fail to identify whether the given subject is singular or not as there are many conditional rules which can compel a singular subject taking plural verb and vice-versa. Some such rules are the followings

  • Words joined to a Singular Subject by with, together with, in addition to, or, as well as, etc. are parenthetical, and therefore do not affect the number of the Verb.

Incorrect- He as well as his relatives have arrived.

Correct- He as well as his relatives has arrived.

  • Two or more Singular Subjects connected by or, nor, either ….. or, neither nor take a Verb in the Singular.

Incorrect- Neither he nor I were there.

Correct- Neither he nor I was there.

  • When the Subjects joined by ‘or/nor are of different numbers, the Verb must be Plural, and the Plural Subject must be placed next to the Verb.

Incorrect- Neither the leaders nor the director was present.

Correct- Neither the director nor the leaders were present.

  • If two Singular Nouns refer to the same person or thing, the Verb must be Singular.

Incorrect- The actor and singer are coming.

Correct- The actor and singer is coming.

(Here the same person is actor and singer)

  • If the Singular Subjects are preceded by each or every, the Verb is usually Singular.

Incorrect- Every man and girl were ready.

Correct- Every boy and girl was ready.

  • When the Subjects joined by or, nor are of different persons, the Verb agrees in person with the one nearest to it.

Incorrect- Either he or I is chosen.

Correct- Either he or I, am chosen.

  • When the Subject of the Verb is a Relative Pronoun care should be taken to see that the Verb agrees in Number and Person with the Antecedent of the relative.

Incorrect- I, who is your mentor, will guide you.

Correct- I, who am your mentor, will guide you.

Note– Most of the time we commit mistakes as we fail to identify the subject. Remember Subject must answer questions who and to whom ? Likewise verbs are classified in to numerous other verbs such as—Auxiliary verb, Finite verb, infinitive verb, transitive verb, intransitive verb, stative verb, linking verb and many more.


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