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Three Review Exercises in Subject-Verb Agreement

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These three review exercises will give you practice in applying the rules of subject-verb agreement. After you have completed each exercise, compare your responses with the answers on page two.

AGREEMENT EXERCISE A

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. Rick 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.


AGREEMENT EXERCISE B

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 Merdine.
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. Gus and Merdine 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 Legree 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.



AGREEMENT EXERCISE C

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.

Santa

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 a 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.


After you have completed each exercise, compare your responses with the answers on page two.

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