‘Syntax’ refers to the laws or rules of sentence construction and the grammatical arrangement of words in a sentence.
The rules of Syntax are divided into three classes, as:
1. Concord or Agreement: It refers to the agreement of one word with another in a sentence in respect of its number, gender, person and case
2. Government: It denotes the power which one word has over another in order to determine its case.
3. Order: It denotes the arrangement of words in a sentence.
Here the Rules of Concord or Agreement of Subject and the Verb are being gone to discuss as under:
1. The Number and Person of the Verb in a sentence correspond with the number and person of the Subject:
I am a boy.
You are a girl.
She drinks milk.
2. The Verb is always in the Third Person Singular number if the Subject of a sentence is a Gerund, Infinitive, Verbal Noun, Phrase or Clause:
To forgive is divine.
Swimming is a good exercise.
What is said by Hiren is true.
The reading of newspapers is rewarding.
3. If two Singular Subjects are connected by ‘and’ then the verb of them becomes plural.
Kamal and Nayan are friends.
He and She have been reading the newspaper.
4. If the two singular nouns connected by ‘and’ refer to the same person or thing then the verb would be in the singular:
The musician and singer is dead.
Bread and butter is my favourite food.
The Poet and novelist Amitav is warmly welcomed.
5. If there is Each, Every or No before the two Singular nouns (Subjects) connected by ‘and’ then the verb would be in the singular number:
Every teacher and every boy has attended the meeting.
Every man, woman and baby was set free.
No woman and no man is allowed to enter the garden.
6. If two Nouns or Pronouns of different number is connected by the correlative neither ……. nor/ either …….. or then the plural noun is placed after the singular noun and the verb agrees to the number of the plural noun:
Neither Ram nor his friends are guilty.
Either Shila or her classmates are playing in the field.
7. If two nouns used as the Subject of a verb are connected by or/nor then the verb agrees to the number and person of the nearest subject:
You or I am to go.
She or my friends are to visit the place.
He or I have to pay the bill.
8. If the personal pronouns of different numbers are used as the subject of a sentence then the pronoun of the second person is placed first, then comes the pronoun of the third person and at last the pronoun of the first person is used:
You, Ram and I am to blame.
You, Shulekha and I am playing ball.
Kanak and I went to the zoo.
9. If two subjects are connected by ‘as well as’ then the verb agrees to the number and person of the first subject:
The sons as well as their father are marching ahead.
Fatima as well as her classmates is tired of hard work.
10. If the subject of a verb is a collective noun then the verb becomes singular.
A hundred kilometres is a good distance.
Forty rupees is a meagre sum.
11. If the name of a book or a country is in the plural it takes a singular verb:
‘The Canterbury Tales’ is the first successful poetry book in English.
The United States of America belongs to the First World.
12. If a collective noun is considered to be a unit then its verb becomes singular:
The committee has taken a new resolution concerning Higher Education.
A swarm of bees is flying over our head.
13. If there are two or more than two nouns or pronouns connected by with or together with then the number of the verb corresponds with the number and person of the first noun:
The bus with all its passengers has been rescued.
She, with her friends, has gone to meet the minister.
14. The number and person of Relative Pronoun correspond with the number and person of its antecedent:
It is you who are to blame.
It is I who am to go there.
15. The pronouns like each, every, many a, either, neither etc. if used as a Subject of a verb then the verb becomes singular in number.
Each was pretty.
Neither was present.
16. If any Adjective with the Article the before it is used as the subject of the verb then its verb becomes plural:
The virtuous are always happy.
The rich are always unhappy.
The poor are simple-minded.
The blessed are the merciful.
1. Choose the correct word from the brackets and fill in the gaps:
(a. The Prime Minister with his secretary……………. slain. (was/were)
(b) One of the girls ………… absent. (was/were)
(c) The poet and novelist ……………… dead. (is/are)
(d) The Arabian Nights …………..an interesting book. (is/are)
(e) Each of them ……………. trustworthy. (is/are)
(f)A friend and not a foe ……………. you. (greet/ greets)
(g) No friend , no relative ………… him.(help/helps)
(h) A crowd of people ………………. gathered there. (has/ have)
(i) Many a flower ………….. born to remain unseen. (is/are)
(j) Each of the boys ………… to pay fine. (has/ have)
(k) Everyone of them ………… satisfied. (is/are)
(l) Either Tilak or his brother …….. at fault. (is/ are)
(m) No man and no woman …………. ever heard such a story. (has/have)
(n) Every star and every planet ……………. the handiwork of God. (is/are)
(o) Twenty shillings …………… a pound (makes/make)
(p) Slow and steady ……….. the race. (wins/win)
(q) All work and no play ……………… Jack a dull boy. (makes/make)
(r)A hue and cry …………raised after the thief. (was/were)
(s) Riju as well as his friends …………….. come. (has/ have)
(t) One third of the book ………………… been completed. (has/ have) (Syntax)
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N.B. The article ‘Syntax’ originally belongs to the book ‘School English Grammar Part- I‘ by Menonim Menonimus. Syntax
Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:
- Advertisement Writing
- Amplification Writing
- Note Making
- Paragraph Writing
- Notice Writing
- Passage Comprehension
- The Art of Poster Writing
- The Art of Letter Writing
- Report Writing
- Story Writing
- Substance Writing
- School Essays Part-I
- School Essays Part-II
- School English Grammar Part-I
- School English Grammar Part-II..
Books on Linguistics by M. Menonimus:
- A Brief History of the English Language
- Essays on Linguistics
- My Imageries
- Felicitous Expression: Some Examples
- Learners’ English Dictionary
- Home English Grammar
- Learn English
- Grammar-English for Students
- Easy English Grammar
- Basic English Grammar Lessons
- A Beginner’s Guide to Basic English Grammar …
- Preposition: Definition and Meaning
- Rules of Prepositions
- What is a Preposition
- Words with Appropriate Prepositions
- Appropriate Prepositions-English Grammar
- 80 Most Common Phrasal Verbs
- Phrasal Verbs List
- List of English Phrasal Verbs
- An Extensive List of Phrasal Verbs
- Relatives Definition
- Synthesis of Sentences
- Synthesis of Sentences-Learn Eng Grammar
- Syntax-Definition and Meaning