subject-verb agreement 的觀念

1. 主詞為第三人稱單數,於現在式中,動詞必須是單數形,加 -s 或 -es

錯誤 Ex. My mother hate her.
正確 Ex. My mother hates her.

錯誤 Ex. Our school begin at 8:00 a.m.
正確 Ex. Our school begins at 8:00 a.m.


2. 主詞為複數時,則用複數動詞

錯誤 Ex. Flowers is loved by everybody.
正確 Ex. Flowers are loved by everybody.



Ex. A list of names and grades is on the blackboard.


4.不定代名詞 (indefinite pronouns)如 somebody, everyone, anybody, 等是單數型,所以要用單數動詞

錯誤 Ex. Anyone are welcome to join us.
正確 Ex. Anyone is welcome to join us.

錯誤 Ex. If anybody want one, please write your name on the board.
正確 Ex. If anybody wants one, please write your name on the board.



Ex. A number of people have tried to find the treasure, but they have all failed.

Ex. A group of us are going to take a boat through the French canals.

Ex. The majority of criminals are non-violent.

Ex. Half of his students don't understand a word he says.

Ex. In this school, most of the students are from the Chinese community.

Note: 如果quantifier後面接的是不可數名詞,則動詞要用單數型。

Ex. Most of the water is dirty. (因為water是不可數名詞,所以用單數動詞is)


6. be 動詞要和它的主詞一致,和補語無關

Ex. Coffee and cookies are the best part of the meal.

Ex. The country's leading export is cameras.

Ex. The object of my study was the planets.



Ex. There was a car parked there.

Ex. There were no cars outside.

Ex. There was a computer and printer on the table.


8. 主詞為集合名詞(collective noun)時,若指一個集合體單數動詞; 若要強調組成集合體的個別份子時,則用複數動詞。但是,美式英語中,大多數情況都用單數動詞

常見的集合名詞(collective noun)有:

bank committee government public jury school ministry union
staff class family team club firm party orchestra
crew flock herd group audience army navy gang

Ex. My family are taking separate vacations. (我家人個別度假)

Ex. The average family has 3.6 members. It is smaller than 50 years ago. (平均一個家庭有3.6人)

Ex. The committee are at dinner. (委員們正在吃飯)

Ex. The committee consists of eleven persons. (委員會由11人組成)

Ex. The team are quarreling among themselves. (小組成員吵成一團)

Ex. The team is in good shape. (小組情況良好)

Note1: 通常用單數動詞時,後面的代名詞也用單數型式; 複數動詞時,代名詞就用複數型式

Ex. The government has said it would wish to do this only if there was no alternative.

Ex. The government have made up their minds that they're going to win.


Ex. The team is in Detroit this weekend. They expect to win.

Ex. His family was waiting in the next room, but they had not yet been informed.

Note2: 集合名詞(collective noun)前面無法加上數字一起使用

錯誤 Ex. Three crew were killed.
正確 Ex. Three of the crew were killed.
正確 Ex. Three members of the crew were killed.


9. 主詞為「一段時間」、「一筆金錢」、「一段距離」、「一個重量」時,形式為複數,但意義上為單數時,則用單數動詞。但是,如果這些複數名詞不是表示單一的觀念」,則必須接複數動詞

Ex. Eighty dollars is too much to pay for that pen. (花80元買那支筆太貴了)
Ex. One hundred cents make a dollar. (一百分錢就是一元)

Ex. Ten miles is too long a distance for her to swim.(游10英哩對她來說太遠了)
Ex. Five yards of cloth have been measured off. (五碼的布已經被量好剪下來了)

Ex. Twenty days is too long a time for me. (等20天對我來說太久了)
Ex. Twenty days have passed since I last heard from him. (自從我上次接到他的來信,至今已有20天了)


10. either...orneither...nor 的「主詞和動詞一致」規則現在通常是用 the proximity rule,也就是動詞和最接近它的主詞一致

Ex. Either Peter or the girls need to attend the course.

Note1: 當 I either...orneither...nor 的主詞之一時,把它放在 or nor 的後面,然後動詞和 I 一致。

Ex. Neither she nor I am going to the festival.

Note2: 當單數主詞複數主詞 either...or neither...nor 連接時,通常把複數主詞放在後面,然後用複數動詞

Ex. Neither Jenny nor the others are available.


11. 集合名詞(collective noun)或其他主詞、動詞一致的問題相當複雜,如果不確定的話,還是那一句話: 查字典,而且要查對字典,並且詳看例

錯誤 Ex. There was few people at the funeral.
正確 Ex. There were few people at the funeral.

錯誤 Ex. The crowd were growing impatient.
正確 Ex. The crowd was growing impatient.