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Grammatik auf Englisch - Übereinstimmung von Subjekt und Verb

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Englisch Subjekt, Englisch Verb

One of the key principles of English grammar is that the verb must always agree with the subject in number ( singular or plural ). As simple as this may seem, there are many pitfalls. It's important to know how to avoid them, because incorrectly formed sentences usually have the immediate impact of pork-flavoured yoghurt.

Fundamental to making subjects and verbs agree is being able to recognise whether subjects and verbs are singular or plural. For example:

He, she or it walks

We or they walk


As a general rule, subjects form the plural by adding s, and verbs form the singular by adding s. Irregular verbs like be, go, do and have work a bit differently:

The computer is old.

The computers are old.



The simple rules

Now come the rules that define how to make the subject and verb agree in number in predictable situations.

Rule 1: When two or more singular nouns or pronouns are joined with or or nor, a singular subject results. Use a singular verb:

Cow's milk or soy milk is in the coffee, but I can't tell which.

Neither cow's milk nor soy milk is in the coffee.


Rule 2: When two or more nouns or pronouns are joined with and, a plural subject results. Use a plural verb:

A chair and a table are in the corner.

Rule 3: The words either, neither, everyone, every one, no one, everybody, nobody, anybody, someone, somebody, each and each one are treated as singular subjects. Use a singular verb:

Either of us is ready to step into the role.

Neither of them is right for the position.

Each is ready to take on that task.

Each of them is ready to take on that task.

Nobody is right for that job.

Everyone is excited about our new CEO.

Every one of them is a valued volunteer.

Everyone means the same as everybody.

Every one refers to each one in a group.



Rules governing difficult cases

Rule 4: When using the pronoun I as one of the two subjects with either/or or neither/ nor, it should be the second subject in the sentence and should be followed with am:

Neither Jane nor I am qualified to address that issue.

Rule 5: When one of the subjects used with or or nor is singular and the other plural, put the plural subject last and use a plural verb:

Neither the manager nor her assistants were interested in the seminar.

Rule 6: Certain nouns, for example mathematics, ethics, civics, measles and news, are considered singular:

The news is on at 7.


Tricky situations

Rule 7: Often there are many words between the subject and the verb. These words can create confusion about the number of the subject. For example:

The CEO, along with his staff of executive secretaries, is expected to return from Dubai on Monday.

When the subject is separated from the verb by phrases beginning with words like along with, together with, accompanied by, in addition to, including, as well as, besides or not, ignore these phrases when determining the number of the verb.

Rule 8: Phrases beginning with of can really throwyoufora loop when determining the number of the subject. To get it right, ignore these phrases before looking at the number of the subject:

A team of experts is required for this.

Rule 9: The pronouns who, that and which, when used as the subject of a verb in the middle of a sentence, are considered singular or plural depending on the noun directly in front of them. Identify the number of this noun and then choose a singular or plural verb to match:

The man in the corner is the journalist who writes for our local newspaper.

Gerald is one of the engineers who check the structural integrity of the Hoover Dam each year.


Rule 10: When a sentence begons with here or there, the subject follows the verb. Match the number of the subject properly:

Here are multiple examples of our success:

There is only one person who can get us out of this mess.

There are at least five different obstacles we must overcome.


Rule 11: Words like team, staff, class, family, committee and group are collective nouns that change their number depending on context. Amounts of money and units of time work the same way. If the collection is referred to as a unit, it is singular. If it is referred to as separate entities within a group, it is plural:

The staff leaves every day at five.
( This creates an image of the entire staff leaving as a group.)


But also: The staff leave every day at five.
( This creates an image of each member of the staff leaving. )

The staff are debating amongst themselves.

Twenty pounds/dollars is a hefty fee.

Five years is the minimum commitment in our partner programme.

Dollars are used in many countries.

Ten minutes out of every 30 are free.

Rule 12: For words that indicate a portion of something, like all, some, none, fraction, portion, remainder, percent and part, look at the object of the prepositional phrase beginning with of to determine the number of the subject:

Sixty percent of the firms were acquired last month.

Sixty percent of the firm was acquired last month.

Only a small fraction of our customers defect to our largest competitor every month.

Only a portion of the substance is required to stimulate significant weight loss.

All of the technicians quit in protest.

None of their claims are true.

None of the paper is recycled.

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Englisch Subjekt, Englisch Verb

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