Monday, 20 August 2012

Review Exercise:Subject- Verb Agreement


For each pair of sentences below, write out the correct form of the verb in parentheses. Keep to the present tense, and be guided by our four tips for agreement and our three special cases.

1. Do you know how to play bocce? The game (do) not require any special athletic abilities.

2. There is a new bocce league at the recreational center. There (be) several teams in the league.

3. I have a new set of bocce balls. My friend (have) a new pallino ball.

4. Bocce is a game for people of all ages. I (be) going to show you how to play.

5. The players take turns rolling a ball down the court. Each of the players [take] one ball and aims for the pallino.

6. We try to get our balls as close to the pallino as possible. Ravi often (try) to bounce his ball off the side of the court.

7. Nobody enjoys playing bocce more than I do. Everybody who plays bocce (enjoy) the game.

8. There are four players on each team. There (be) a tournament at the end of the season.

9. The winners of the tournament carry home a trophy. Everyone (carry) home good memories.

10. I am ready to play a game now. You and your friends (be) welcome to join us.


For each pair of sentences below, write out the correct form of the verb in parentheses. Keep to the present tense, and be guided by our four tips for agreement and our three special cases.

1. Both candidates oppose increased defense spending. Neither of the two candidates (oppose) the war in Iraq.

2. Not one of these cell phones belongs to me. One of the phones (belong) to Meera.

3. Most students take all of their classes in the morning. Nobody (take) classes after 2:00.

4. One of my hobbies is collecting shopping bags. My hobbies (be) unusual.

5. Laila and Meera want a trial separation. Neither one (want) to move out of the apartment.

6. Neither of the players admits that he made an error. Both players (admit) that somebody made a mistake.

7. Both the manager and her assistant have been fired. Neither the manager nor her assistant (have) been notified.

8. Where is your little brother? Several pages from my journal (be) missing.

9. Professor Menon often goes for long walks in the rain. The lights in his house (go) on at midnight.

10. The students in the back of the room play poker during breaks. The student who sits next to the refreshments (play) solitaire.


The following paragraph contains six errors in subject-verb agreement. Find and correct each of the six verb errors. Remember to stay in the present tense, and be guided by our four tips for agreement and our three special cases.


According to legend, Santa Claus is a fat old man who visits every house on our planet in about eight hours on one of the coldest nights of the year. Santa, as everybody knows, stop for a glass of milk and a cookie at each house along the route. He prefer to work unnoticed, so he wears luminous red suit and travels with a pack of bell-jangling reindeer. For reasons that most people does not understand, this jolly old man enters each house not by the front door but through the chimney (whether you has a chimney or not). He customarily gives generously to children in wealthy families, and he usually remind poorer children that it's the thought that counts. Santa Claus is one of the earliest beliefs that parents try to instill in their children. After this absurdity, it's a wonder that any child ever believe in anything again.

Here are the answers to the subject-verb agreement exercises

Answers to EXERCISE A

(1) does; (2) are; (3) has; (4) am; (5) takes; (6) tries; (7) enjoys; (8) is; (9) carries; (10) are.

Answers to EXERCISE B

(1) oppose; (2) belongs; (3) takes; (4) are; (5) wants; (7) has; (8) are; (9) go; (10) plays.

Answers to EXERCISE C

(1) Change "stop for a glass" to "stops for a glass"; (2) change "prefer to work" to "prefers to work"; (3) change "people does not understand" to "people do not understand"; (4) change "you has a chimney" to "you have a chimney"; (5) change "remind poorer children" to "reminds poorer children"; (6) change "child ever believe" to "child ever believes."

Tricky Cases: Subject- Verb Agreement :1

In the present tense, a verb must agree in number with its subject. That, of course, is the basic principle of subject-verb agreement. It's a simple enough rule, but on certain occasions even experienced writers can slip up on it.

Let's have a look at three of the trickier cases of subject-verb agreement:

1. making subject and verb agree when words come between them;

2. reaching agreement when the subject is an indefinite pronoun; and

3. making the verbs have, do, and be agree with their subjects.

CASE #1:
Making Subject and Verb Agree When Words Come Between Them

In determining subject-verb agreement, don't let yourself be confused by words that come between the subject and the verb. Let's compare these two sentences:

This box belongs in the attic.
This box of ornaments belongs in the attic.

In both sentences, the verb belongs agrees with its subject, box. Don't let the prepositional phrase in the second sentence fool you into thinking that ornaments is the subject.
It is simply the object of the preposition of and does not affect the agreement of subject and verb.

Prepositional phrases (as well as adjective clauses, appositives, and participle phrases) often come between a subject and a verb. So to make sure that a verb agrees with its subject and not with a word in the phrase or clause, mentally cross out the interrupting group of words:

One (of my sister's friends) is a pilot.
The people (who survived the explosion) are in a shelter.
A child (chasing butterflies) is on the terrace.

Remember, then, that the subject is not always the noun closest to the verb. It is the noun (or pronoun) that names what the sentence is about, and it may be separated by several words from the verb.

CASE #2:
Reaching Agreement When the Subject Is an Indefinite Pronoun

Remember to add an -s to the end of the verb in the present tense if the subject is one of the indefinite pronouns listed below:
• one (anyone, everyone, no one, someone)
• anybody (everybody, somebody, nobody)
• anything (everything, something, nothing)
• each, either, neither

As a general rule, treat these words as third-person singular pronouns (he, she, it).

In the following sentences, each subject is an indefinite pronoun and each verb ends in -s:

Nobody claims to be perfect.
Everybody plays the fool sometimes.
Each of the divers has an oxygen tank.

In that last sentence, note that has agrees with the subject each, not with divers (the object of the preposition).

CASE #3:
  Have, Do, and Be Agree with Their Subjects

Although all verbs follow the same principle of agreement, certain verbs seem to be a little more troublesome than others. In particular, many agreement errors result from the misuse of the common verbs have, do, and be.

We need to remember that the verb have appears as has if the subject is a singular noun or a third-person singular pronoun (he, she, it):

Dolly has ghosts in her bedroom.

If the subject is a plural noun or the pronoun I, you, we, or they, use have:
They have a new client.

In a nutshell, "She has," but "They have."

Similarly, the verb do appears as does if the subject is a singular noun or, once again, a third-person singular pronoun (he, she, it):

Nimmy does the housework.

If the subject is a plural noun or the pronoun I, you, we, or they, use do:

Nimmy and Leena do the chores together.

Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
Then let's mix it up just a little bit.

The verb be has three forms in the present tense: is, am, are.
 Use is if the subject is a singular noun or a third-person singular pronoun (he, she, it):

Dr. Nair is unhappy.

Use am if the subject is the first-person singular pronoun (I):

I am not the person you think I am.

Finally, if the subject is a plural noun or the pronoun you, we, or they, use are:

The fans are in the stands, and we are ready to play.

Now, let's take one more look at these three verbs--but from a different angle.

Sometimes a subject may follow (rather than precede) a form of the verb have, do, and be. As shown in the sentences below, this reversal of the usual order occurs in questions that require a helping verb:

Where has Santosh parked the car?
What do you do in your free time?
Are we having a test today?

In all of these sentences, the present forms of have, do, and be serve as "helping verbs" and appear in front of their subjects. Another case in which a form of the verb be comes before the subject is in sentences beginning with the words there or here:

There is a cat in the garden.
Here are the photocopies.

Just keep in mind that no matter where a verb appears in a sentence, it must still agree with the subject

Subject- Verb Agreement

Here we will practice applying one of the most basic and yet also most troublesome rules of grammar:

in the present tense, a verb must agree in number with its subject.

Put simply, this means that we have to remember to add an -s to the verb if its subject is singular and not to add an -s if the subject is plural. It's really not a hard principle to follow as long as we can identify the subject and verb in a sentence. Let's have a look at how this basic rule works.

Compare the verbs (in bold) in the two sentences below:
Meera sings the blues at the Tagore Hall.
My sisters sing the blues at the Tagore Hall.

Both verbs describe a present or ongoing action (in other words, they are in the present tense), but the first verb ends in -s and the second one doesn't. Can you give a reason for this difference?

That's right. In the first sentence, we need to add an -s to the verb (sings) because the subject (Meera) is singular. We omit the final -s from the verb (sing) in the second sentence because there the subject (sisters) is plural.
Remember, though, that this rule applies only to verbs in the present tense.

As you can see, the trick to following the basic principle of subject-verb agreement is being able to recognize subjects and verbs in sentences.

Here are four tips to help you apply the principle that a verb must agree in number with its subject:

TIP #1:
Add an -s to the verb if the subject is a singular noun: a word that names one person, place, or thing.

Ramdev drives a hard bargain.
Talent develops in quiet places.

TIP #2:
Add an -s to the verb if the subject is any one of the third-person singular pronouns: he, she, it, this, that.

He drives a minivan.
She follows a different drummer.
It looks like rain.
This confuses me.
That takes the cake.

TIP #3:
Do not add an -s to the verb if the subject is the pronoun I, you, we, or they.

I make my own rules.
You drive a hard bargain.
We take pride in our work.
They sing out of key.

TIP #4:
Do not add an -s to the verb if two subjects are joined by and.

He and she often argue with each other.

Charlie and Jini enjoy music.

So, is it really that simple to make subjects and verbs agree?

Well, not always.
For one thing, our speech habits sometimes interfere with our ability to apply the principle of agreement. If we have a habit of dropping the final -s from words when we talk, we need to be particularly careful not to leave off the -s when we write.

Also, we have to keep a certain spelling rule in mind when adding -s to a verb that ends in the letter -y: in most cases, we need to change the y to ie before adding the s.
 For example, the verb carry becomes carries, try becomes tries, and hurry becomes hurries. Are there exceptions? Of course. If the letter before the final -y is a vowel (that is, the letter a, e, i, o, or u), we simply keep the y and add -s. So say becomes says, and enjoy becomes enjoys.


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Phrasal Verbs 2

Phrasal Verbs

1.       Bear :          Bear on, bear with, bear off, Bear out.

2.       Cast:           Cast down, cast aside, cast off, cast out.

3.       Pass:          Pass by, Pass over, Pass off, Pass away.

4.       Run:          Run down, Run off, Run out, Run over.

5.       Make:    Make for, Make up about,  Make into, make out

6.       Take:        Take in, Take off, Take to, Take down.

7.   Throw:  Throw about, Throw away, Throw out, Throw over.

8.       Put:          Put off, Put on, Put in, Put out

9.       Go:           Go upon, Go off,  Go over, Go by

10.   Set:          Set out, Set up,  Set in,  Set off

Bear  on means ‘to affect’.

Bear with means ‘to tolerate’.
Bear off means ‘to win’.
Bear out means  ‘to establish or confirm something’.

Cast  down  means ‘to be sad about something’.
cast aside means ‘to reject’ or “cast off.”
cast out means ‘to expel from society’.

Pass by  means to ‘ to go past’.
 Pass over means ‘to ignore’
Pass off  means ‘to convey a false impression about’.
Pass away means ‘to die’.

Run down means ‘to censure, to disparage or speak ill of’.
Run off means ‘to break off from control’.
Run out means ‘to come to an end’.
Run over means ‘to drive over’.

 Make for means ‘to move forward something’.
 Make up about means ‘to form a part of something’.
  Make into means ‘to change someone into someone’.
 Make out means ‘to understand some one’s character.

Take in means ‘to confide’.
Take off means ‘to remove’.
Take to means ‘to become addicted to’.
Take down means ‘to write down’.

 Put off means ‘to irritate or cause dislike’.
 Put on means ‘to trick or cheat people’.
Put in means ‘to put the ball into scrum (in rugby)’.
 Put out means ‘to upset or cause inconvenience to someone’.

Go upon means ‘to go by conclusion’.
 Go off means ‘to be a success’.
 Go over means ‘to examine thoroughly’.
 Go by means ‘to be guided by’.

Set out means ‘to plan something for future’
 Set up means ‘to establish something (company)’.
 Set in means ‘to begin happening’.
 Set off means ‘to start a journey’.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Bank Po Essays-5. Throw away Culture

Use and throw away culture is becoming increasingly popular. What steps can be taken to counter this trend?

Modern culture is consumeristic and it is known as ‘disposable’ culture. We live in an age of ever- growing  technology and people show keen interest in the latest forms of technology. As such, durability of things have taken a back seat. The attitude of giving preference to convenience also encourages the ‘throw away culture’. In many ways the throw away culture is wasteful.

At the outset, ‘throw away culture’ represents everything from disposing of used syringes or tea cups to discarding computers or even old vehicles. Destroying used plastic is a major problem everywhere Recycling plastic is a process that needs a lot of electricity. Generating electricity at an affordable cost is a serious challenge to mankind. Conventional methods of generating energy add to pollution, and global warming which threatens the very survival of life on earth.

Besides, repairing and reusing machines do not interest multinational companies. Insteas, they promote more and more of their new products. Disposing a lot of waste materials which contain heavy metals like lead and mercury, and poisonous gases has become a formidable challenge to mankind. It is said that the earth can satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.

To conclude, we have been using the earth’s resources for years. Our needs are unlimited but the means to satisfy them are limited. Producing substitutes for many scarce materials is possible; but this process needs abundant supply of energy. Considering all these aspects, ‘throw away culture’ takes the world to the brink of an imminent energy crisis, The earlier we solve it, the better it is for everybody. We have to be proactive to combat this global menace.