Compound Subjects And The Verbs

 Compound Subjects And The Verbs

Compound Subjects And The Verbs

 Compound Subjects And The Verbs

A compound subject consists of two or more nouns (Adam and Eve, cowboy and cowgirl), pronouns (your and I, he and she), or noun phrases (a basket of rotten eggs, a layer of dirt). Together, they form the subject of a sentence.

Two or more subjects or nouns that are combined to form a compound subject take a plural verb. 

Examples
  • Forks and spoons have always been together during dinnertime.
  • Peter and Paul were two blackbirds.
  • Dick, Tom and Harry are triplets.
  • He, his dog and I are best friends.
  • The grandfather, the father and the son all have beards.

If the nouns that make up a compound subject are joined by or and both are singular, a singular verb is used.

Examples
  • His father or mother is a professor of insecticides.
  • Chicken soup or duck soup makes no difference to me because I like all soups.

If the nouns that make up a compound subject are singular and plural, the verb agrees with the noun nearer to it.

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  • His killers or killer is still at large.
  • A big box or smaller boxes do not matter to him for the storage.
  • The clock or the watch or both are not accurate; they tell different times.

Subjects can be infinitives. (An infinitive begins with to followed by the simple form of the verb.) Two infinitives joined by or and to form a subject take the singular or plural form of the verb.

Examples
  • To own or to manage a livestock farm involves a lot of work.
  • To dive and to swim are my hobbies.

Subjects can be gerunds. (Gerund is derived from a verb that ends in –ing but functions as a noun). One gerund takes a singular verb. When two gerunds are joined by the conjunction and, the verb that follows is plural.

Examples
  • Cycling is an enjoyable pastime.
  • Walking and jogging have always been my favorite forms of exercises.
  • Barking at strangers and chasing cats is what my dog does most of the time.