^ Вверх



Entry Test.


Choose the proper item.

1. The cattle on his farm _____ taken good care of.

1) was     2) are     3) is

2. The contents of the book _____ not much varied.

1) is     2) was     3) are

3. Ten dollars _____ not much to live on.

1) is     2) are     3) were

4. Cheese and crackers _____ a good snack after school.

1) are     2) is     3) were

5. Andy is one of those people who _____ me.

1) support     2) supports     3) has supported

6. Gymnastics _____ up most of my sister’s spare time.

1) take     2) takes     3) have taken

7. Three miles _____ the distance from here to the railway station.

1) is     2) are     3) were

8. A number of students _____ planning to go on a trip to Britain.

1) is     2) are     3) was

9. Her long hair _____ really charming.

1) looks     2) look     3) are looking

10. Most police _____ uniforms.

1) wear     2) is wearing     3) wears

11. Eating sweets _____ the level of sugar in your blood.

1) increase     2) are increased     3) increases

12. Each chair and table _____ freshly painted.

1) look     2) looks     3) are looking

13. Money _____ always bring happiness.

1) aren’t     2) doesn’t     3) don’t

14. The orchestra _____ know what to play.

1) isn’t     2) don’t     3) doesn’t

15. The number of students considering college _____ each year.

1) increase     2) increases     3) are increasing



1.  Nouns that are Always Plural


Exercise 1.1. Study the rule, translate the words given as examples. 

 In English the verb usually agrees with the subject even if the verb is separated from its subject by the prepositional phrases, relative clauses, brackets or commas.

 e.g. The petrol station across the road from the new shops has just cut its prices.


 Some nouns are always plural, often because they are made up of two similar parts. This especially true of:

  • some clothes:

 e.g.  trousers, pajamas, tights, shorts, jeans, dungarees, overalls, gloves, etc.

  • some tools:

 e.g. scissors, pliers, tweezers, tongs, glasses, scales, binoculars, pincers, shears, spectacles, braces, handcuffs, compasses, etc.


 To refer to them as a single object, we usually use a pair of.

 e.g. a pair of scissors, a pair of trousers


 Here are some nouns that are always plural in English:

 e.g. annals, antics, archives, authorities, belongings, brains, clothes,  conditions, congratulations, contents, goods, greens, grounds, earnings, expenses, foundations,  funds, lodgings, minutes, odds, outskirts, particulars, premises, proceeds, races, regards, refreshments, remains, resources, riches, sales, savings, sights, stairs, suburbs, supplies, surroundings, terms, thanks, troops, valuables, wages, wits, etc. 



Practice Activities.


Exercise 1.2. Complete the following sentences with the appropriate verb or pronoun.

1. Where (be) the scissors? –  _____ (be)__________ in the first drawer on the left.

2. How much (do)__________ a good pair of trousers cost these days?

3. How much did you pay for __________ trousers? –  __________ (be)__________ very expensive.

4. If your clothes (be)__________ dirty, please put __________ in the laundry basket.

5. My jeans (have)___________ not faded much even though I keep washing __________.

6. I’m looking for the pliers. – You’ll find __________ on the shelf.

7. __________ scissors (do)__________ not cut very well.

8. My earnings (be)__________  not high, but at least __________ (be)__________ regular.

9. __________ shorts (do)__________ not fit me at all.

10. __________ goods (have)__________ arrived from China.



Exercise 1.3. Use the following  nouns belongings, brains, congratulations, contents, expenses, goods, refreshments,  resources, sights, terms to complete the sentences below.

1. If I spend a lot of money, can I claim __________?

2. Britain needs to export more __________.

3. There was a short break for __________.

4. I know he’s very clever, but __________ aren’t the only thing in life.

5. I’m so pleased you got into university! __________ on your success.

6. He carries all his __________ with him in an old suitcase.

7. We took some time off to walk round the town and see the __________.

8. He emptied the __________ of his pockets.

9. We do not have the __________ to deal with the problem.

10. These are our __________ for ending the strike.



Exercise 1.4. Some of the sentences contain mistakes. Underline the mistakes and then correct them.

1. Your reading glasses is by the bed.

2. Can you explain why my best trousers have a hole in them?

3. The scissors in the sewing box needs sharpening.

4. This pair of binoculars have been in the drawer for as long as I can remember.

5. Where has those kitchen scales gone?

6. Refreshments are available inside.

7. Be careful, this scissors are sharp.

8. My clothes are soaking wet, I need to change them.

9. This pair of pliers are broken.

10. Troops was sent to restore the order.



Exercise 1.5. Translate the words in brackets into English.

1. She spent several hours in the film (архив)___________.

2. He swallowed half the (содержимое)__________ of the glass in one gulp.

3. I didn’t relish the prospect of climbing another flight of (лестницы)__________.

4. The land was bought out of the (выручку)__________ of the sale of his paintings.

5. You must learn how to take the (протокол)__________.

6. Give my (привет)___________ to your daughter.

7. The object of the show was to stimulate the (продажу)___________ of his new novel.

8. Her only chance was to use her (ум)___________ to bluff and outsmart the enemy.

9. The scandal has shaken the Democratic Party to its (основания)__________.

10. They expressed their (благодарность)____________ to the organizers.



2. Nouns Ending in -s


Exercise 2.1. Study the rule, translate the words given as examples.


 Some uncountable nouns that end in -s look like plural countable nouns but they are not, so we use a singular verb with them. They usually refer to:

  • subjects of study – mathematics, physics, linguistics, genetics;
  • activities – athletics, gymnastics, aerobics;
  • games – cards, darts, billiards, checkers, draughts, dominoes, bowls;
  • illnesses – measles, mumps, rabies.


 The nouns: acoustics, economics, politics and statistics take a singular verb when they refer to the academic subject.

 They take a plural verb when the reference is specific.

 Compare: Politics is popular at this university. (academic discipline). – His politics are bordering on fascism. (political beliefs).

 Statistics was always my worst subject. (academic discipline). – Statistics are able to prove anything you want them to. (numerical information).

 Economics has only recently been recognized as a scientific study.(academic discipline). – The economics behind their politics are unreasonable.(financial system).

 Acoustics is a subject I know little about. (academic discipline). – The acoustics of this room are very good. (particular reference). 



Practice Activities.


Exercise 2.2. Complete the following sentences with the appropriate verb or pronoun.

1. Politics (be)__________  a dirty business. 13. The contents of the letter (have)___________ not been changed.
2. Your statistics (be)__________ unreliable. 14. The proceeds of the sale of goods (have)_________ been transfered to London.
3. (be)__________ there any statistics for road accidents? 15. His clothes (be)__________ wet as he had been caught in the rain.
4. My maths (be)__________ getting worse and worse. 16. The goods you ordered (have)__________ arrived.
5. Phonetics (be)__________ a branch of linguistics. 17. (be)__________ there any kennels in this area?
6. Mathematics (be)__________ a compulsory subject. 18. Many species of butterflies (have)___________ dissappeared.
7. There (be)__________ four crossroads in our village. 19. Our works (have)___________ a good canteen.
8. Genetics (be)__________ a subject I know little about. 20. There (be)___________ crossroads every mile.
9. There (be)_________ many series of books on birds. 21. The statistics in this report (be)__________ today a major tourist attraction.
10. This species (have)_________ green and white spots. 22. The flat is nice but the surroundings (be)__________ not very beautiful.
11. What a pity! Your trousers (be)__________ torn. 23. His manners were as mild as his politics (be)_____ extreme.
12. The authorities (have)__________ refused them their civic rights. 24. I believe congratulations (be)__________ in order! 



Exercise 2.3. Choose the right variant.

1. Electric shears _____ used for sheep shearing

1) is    2) are    3) have    4) has

2. The annals of the British parliament _____ recorded in a publication called Hansard.

1) is    2) are    3) have    4) has

3. _____ flared trousers in fashion or out of fashion at the moment?

1) is    2) are    3) have    4) has

4. Authorities _____ the group of people with official responsibilities for a particular area.

1) is    2) are    3) have    4) has

5. The conditions of the contract _____ that we don’t build on the land.

1) is    2) are    3) have    4) has

6. This new-found means of fighting viruses _____ proved very successful.

1) is    2) are    3) have    4) has

7. The minutes of the last meeting _____ approved unanimously.

1) is    2) are    3) was    4) were

8. All your particulars _____ to be noted in this form.

1) is    2) are    3) have    4) has

9. When his old premises _____ demolished, he had to relocate his business.

1) have    2) has    3) was    4) were

10. A rare species of orchid _____ found in the rain forest not long ago.

1) is    2) are    3) was    4) were

11. Export sales _____ up by 12% last year.

1) is    2) are    3) was    4) were

12. Light refreshments _____ available in the hall.

1) are    2) is    3) was    4) have

13.  She’s going on a trip to New York, all expenses _____ paid by her company.

1) are    2) have    3) has    4) is

14. The proceeds of last week’s festival _____ donated to several local charities.

1) was    2) were    3) have    4) has

15. Traditionally, United Nations troops _____ been deployed only in a peace-keeping role.

1) was    2) were    3) has    4) have

16. A new TV series called "The Hamilton Dynasty" _____ starting next autumn.

1) is    2) are    3) was    4) were

17. There _____ carp in the pond and we saw them.

1) was    2) were    3) is    4) are

18.  A series of disasters _____ forced the company to close down.

1) was    2) were    3) have    4) has

19.  Twenty-six known spacecraft _____ launched into deep space from 1960 to 1965.

1) was    2) were    3) have    4) has

20.  There _____ a lot of sheep grazing in the fields.

1) is    2) are    3) was    4) has



Exercise 2.4. Some of the sentences contain mistakes. Underline the mistakes and then correct them.

1. Measles are in most cases a harmless illness. 9. His politics is right wing.
2. Physics is too difficult for me. 10. Darts are a popular game in the USA.
3. Statistics is a branch of economics. 11. The stairs are made of wood. 
4. This species of moth is rare. 12. His belongings has been destroyed in the fire. 
5. This crossroads are dangerous. 13. Mathematics form the basis of many other sciences. 
6. That pair of pliers on the shelf are broken. 14. These statistics is misleading. 
7. A new glass works has been built near the town. 15. Gymnasticts are fun to watch. 
8. Our company’s headquarters are in London. 16. Statisctics are said to be difficult. 



 3.  Collective Nouns


Exercise 3.1. Study the rule, translate the words given as examples. 

  •  Some nouns referring to groups are called collective nouns. 
  • We can use singular or plural verbs with nouns like

 association, army, audience, band, cast, class, club, college, committee, community, company, crew, crowd, department, electorate, family, firm, generation, gang, government, group, herd, jury,  management, media, population,   press, the public, staff, team, the youth of today, union  and the names of specific organizations such as the United  Nations, the Bank of England, the BBC, IBM, Sony, the European Union, etc.

 e.g. The committee has/have decided to dismiss him.


  • We use a singular verb if we see the institution or organization as a whole unit, and a plural verb if we see it as a collection of individuals. Often you can use either a singular verb or a plural verb with very little difference in meaning, although in formal writing it is more common to use a singular verb.

 e.g. The Vatican has/have issued a further statement this morning.


  • We use only plural verbs with nouns like  

 the cattle, the poultry, the military, the police, the clergy, the  gentry, vermin.


  • Substantivized adjectives denoting people are used with the plural verb.

 e.g.  The middle-aged have a lot to offer their employers, if only they would see it. 



Practice Activities 

Exercise 3.2. Comment on the usage of the plural and singular verbs.

1. The orchestra are just tuning up – let’s hurry in.

2. A cricket team is made of eleven members, including its captain.

3. The staff do not like the new manager.

4. The club is fifty per cent more members than a year ago.

5. In England, a state school has to give time to religious education.

6. When the family were alone she often read to them before going to bed.

7. The public are requested not to leave litter in these woods.

8. That day the committee was meeting at her friend’s house.

9. A team of inspectors is visiting the prison tomorrow afternoon.

10. The family has agreed that the funeral should be held in Ireland.



Exercise 3.3. Complete the following sentences with the appropriate verb or pronoun. Give two variants of the verb where possible and explain the difference in meaning. 

1. What will you do when the family (be)__________ on holiday?

2. The government (be)__________ bringing in a new bill.

3. The company (be)__________ going to employ six staff.

4. The jury (be)__________ trying to decide now.

5. The youth of today (have)__________ many advantages.

6. There (be)__________ vermin in this restaurant.

7. The military (have)__________ occupied the house.

8. The police (be)___________ interested in this case.

9. The public (be)__________ concerned about it.

10. The navy (be)__________ demanding more money to maintain the country’s fleet.

11. The management (be)___________ arguing about how to cut the company’s costs.

12. The jury (have)___________ decided that the man is innocent.

13. The team who won (be)___________ all amateur players.

14. The crew of the ship (be)__________ taking it in turns to go on shore.

15. The orchestra (be)__________ the most famous ever to play in this concert hall.

16. The BBC (be)___________ showing the programme later this year.

17. The crew of the film (be)__________ giving it their all.

18. The cast (perform)__________ brilliantly.

19. The staff (be)__________ working under great pressure.

20. The committee (be)__________ meeting now.



Exercise 3.4. Some of the sentences contain mistakes. Underline the mistakes and then correct them.

1. The island’s politics is complex, with over twelve political parties competing for power.

2. Economics has become an increasingly popular course at university.

3. The latest news of the earthquake survivors are very disturbing.

4. Jim’s politics has changed considerably since he was in his twenties.

5. Diabetes are an illness caused by too much sugar in the blood.

6. Recent government statistics show a sharp decline in crime.

7. Women’s gymnastics are no longer dominated by eastern Europeans.

8. Statistics are now compulsory for all the students taking a course in engineering.

9. Measles is still a fairly serious childhood disease in some countries.

10. The committee usually raise their hands to vote.



Exercise 3.5. Complete the following sentences with the appropriate verb or pronoun. In some sentences both singular and plural forms of the verb are possible.

1. Our class __________ planning a party.

2. She was wearing shorts which __________ too big for her.

3. His clothes __________ dirty but he is actually well off.

4. Conditions in the prison __________ very poor.

5. The foundations of the building __________ laid ten years ago.

6. The outskirts of the city __________ a very nice place to have a house.

7. The goods in the airport lounge __________ sold duty-free.

8. I bought a pair of jeans which __________ much cheaper.

9. The expenses for her trip __________ paid by the firm.

10. Refreshments __________ served in the interval.

11. Bring me the pliers that __________ on the table.

12. The scissors __________ in the drawer. 

13. The City Council __________ the best it can with its limited resources.

14. The mass media nowadays, TV and the press, __________ enormous power.

15. The jury __________ weighed all the evidence and found the accused guilty.

16. Our troops __________ ready to attack the enemy.

17. The crowd __________ growing restless as the day got hotter.

18. Sony __________ announced rising profits for the third year running.

19. The police __________ issued a warrant for Adamson’s arrest.

20. When she was found, her face was bruised and her clothes __________ torn.

21. The public __________ a right to know how the money is to be spent.

22. Thomas was thought to be in Spain, though his exact whereabouts __________ unknown.

23. The stairs leading to the exit __________ steep and dangerous.

24. Lord Travers’ family __________ lived in the house for twelve generations.

25. The company’s earnings __________ increased for the last five years.



Exercise 3.6. Finish the following sentences so that they have a similar meaning to the first sentence.

                     Model: You can find the shears on the table. – The shears are on the table.


1. They drove the cattle into the barn. – The cattle _______________.

2. He found the police very helpful. – The police ________________.

3. Someone needs to clean the stairs. – The stairs ________________.

4. There is a disagreement among the staff about the new contract. – The staff _______________.

5. You have to evacuate the premises immediately if there is a fire. – The premises _______________.

6. We can see from the statistics that unemployment has increased. – The statistics _______________.

7. They are teaching Physics in Room 2A. – Physics _______________.

8. We give exam advice at the end of the course. – Exam advice _______________.

9. We need new members for our tennis club. – Our tennis club _______________.

10. One doesn't need money to be happy. – Money _______________.



Miscellaneous Practice.


Exercise 1. Put in the correct form of the verb in brackets. 

Statistics (be)__________ a branch of economics, but it is often said that there (be)__________ lies, damn lies and statistics. Recent statistics of British life (show) that the family (be)__________ happier than it used to be. The youth of today (be)__________ likely to live longer than the previous generation. People (own)__________ more things than they used to, but more police (be)__________ employed to fight crime. Mathematics (be)__________ a subject which is studied by boys more than girls, as (be)__________ physics. The earnings of working women (be)__________ getting higher all the time and many women earn more than their husbands. Good manners (be)__________ declining. The public (spend)__________ more on clothes, and clothes (be)__________ becoming more and more expensive. Glasses (be)__________ worn by more people, but only a minority (favour)__________ contact lenses. Statistics (make)__________ us want to grind our teeth and can probably tell us if we have any teeth to grind.



Exercise 2. Use the following nouns to complete the sentences below:

contents, draughts, earnings, expenses, goods, lodgings, proceeds, resources, suburbs, supplies, terms, bowls, belongings, goods, statistics

1. You’re lucky – travelling around the world, staying in nice hotels, all __________ paid.

2. The __________ of the sale of the house went to an animal-welfare charity.

3. I put a few personal __________ in a bag and left the house for the last time.

4. __________ show that, in general, women live longer than men.

5. We have to make the best use of the __________ we have.

6. Bill enjoyed living in the __________, and got on very well with his landlady.

7. There is a 25% discount on all electrical __________ until the end of the month.

8. __________ is a game played by two players.

9. I spend half my __________ on childcare.

10. Countries such as Japan and Korea put taxes on imported __________.

11. The customs officer opened my suitcase and examined its __________.

12. Most of the people in my office live in the __________.

13. President Bush refused to reveal the __________ of the peace agreement.

14. __________ is one of the most popular sports in Britain.

15. We are running of food and water – we’ll have to ask for more __________ to be sent.



Exercise 3. Complete the following sentences with the appropriate verb or pronoun.

1. The odds on our winning (be)__________ not very high.

2. Politics (be)__________ by no means the only area where women are doing better.

3. The company (have)__________ found the shelter from the rain in the village inn.

4. Monty’s family (be)__________ of about the same social status as my own

5. The police (be)__________ co-operating with the authorities in other countries which have a drugs problem.

6. The audience (be)__________ requested not to bring any refreshments into the auditorium.

7. He was a fluent talker when politics (be)__________ under the discussion.

8. The house was surrounded and the gang (be)__________ arrested.

9. The office is closed. The staff (be)__________ on strike.

10. The audience (be)__________ much bigger than at last night’s performance.

11. Despite numerous searches and enquiries, her whereabouts (be)__________ unknown.

12. I wonder whether the committee (be)__________ competent enough to consider the project

13. German measles (be)__________ a particularly dangerous illness for pregnant women.

14. Politics (be)__________ a topic best avoided with people you don’t know well.

15. The United Nations (be)__________ in disagreement on this issue.

16. Fifty years ago, the typical family (be)__________ a husband, a wife, and two or three children.

17. The ship sank but the crew (be)__________ safe.

18. A highly organized gang of criminals (have)__________ been operating in this area for years.

19. All medical staff (be)__________ tested for the virus.

20. My personal politics (be)__________ quite simple.



Exercise 4. Complete the following sentences with the appropriate verb or pronoun.

1. The public (be)_________ eager to know how __________ (be)__________ governed.

2. The company’s staff (be)_____ worried about losing __________ jobs.

3. The audience (be)__________ taking __________ seats in the theatre.

4. My family (be)_____ very angry with me, __________ (think)__________ I should go to university.

5. The average family (be) 3,5 members, _____ (be)_____ much smaller than in 1990.

6. Physics (be)__________ an interesting subject at school but I wasn’t very good at __________.

7. Cattle (be)__________ kept for __________ meat.

8. Athletics (be)__________ less popular before the Olympics made __________ fashionable.

9. The goods (be)__________ being packed now and _________ will be delivered first thing tomorrow.

10. The jury (have)__________ retired to consider __________ verdict.

11. His clothes (be)__________ usually filthy and I am sure he never washes __________.

12. The Government (be)__________ planning new taxes but __________ (do)__________ not know yet whether their own supporters will accept such a policy.

13. The French actress Sarah Bernhardt wore a pair of men’s trousers in 1876. She was brave enough to wear __________ in public. Trousers for women (be)__________ not acceptable at that time.

14. The Government (have)__________ been discussing the matter for a long time but __________ (have)__________ shown no sign of reaching agreement.

15. Classics (be)__________ what I wanted to study but my parents persuaded me that economics (be)__________ more useful so I did __________ instead.



5.  Special Problems of Agreement (1)


Exercise 5.1.  Study the rule. 

      The following expressions

  • a number of, a couple of, a dozen of, a group of,  the (a) majority, the (a)  minority, a lot of, the rest of, most of, half of +  plural noun/pronoun  usually have plural verbs:

 e.g. The majority of the people disagree with the new decision of the government.

 There are a couple of children outside. A number of us are worried about it.


 Some expressions have singular verbs:

  • names of quantities expressing measurement of time, money, distance, weight, temperature;

 e.g. About three meters separates the runners in first and second places. Ten pounds is too much to pay.


  •  plural names of countries;

 e.g.  The United States is a country with a high level of inflation.


  •  compound nouns joined by  ‘and’, denoting one dish;

 e.g. Fish and chips costs $3.


  •  more than one + singular noun;

 e.g. There is more than one child in the family.


  •  one of + plural noun;

 e.g. One of your children has lost a shoe.


  •  the number of + plural noun;

 e.g. The number of violent crimes has gone up dramatically.


 After per cent (percent or %); vulgar fractions (two thirds, three fourths, etc) + uncountable noun we use a singular verb. In phrases after per cent (percent or %); vulgar fractions (two thirds, three fourths, etc) + plural noun/ pronoun we use a plural verb.

 e.g. Around 10% of the forest is destroyed each year.

 Only 20% of people interviewed admit smoking.


 After there is/ there are the first noun normally determines whether the verb is singular or plural.

 e.g. There is one potato and two onions in the recipe.

      There are two onions and one potato in the recipe.


 Titles of books, films, etc. take a singular verb, even if they are plural nouns.

 e.g. Moments of Danger is about an American president who disappears for an hour.


 In arithmetic calculations any number may be used, but the singular is preferable.

 e.g. Ten divided by five equal(s) two. 



Practice Activities.


Exercise 5.2. Complete the sentences with either is/are, was/were or has/have. In some sentences both variants are possible.

1. A number of shoppers (have)__________ complained about the price increases.

2. The majority of primary school teachers (be)__________ women.

3. The number of pupils in school with reading difficulties (have)__________ fallen this year.

4. Meat pie and peas (be)__________ Tom’s favourite meal at the moment.

5. Some 80% of the people (be)__________ expected to vote.

6. Three multiplied by five (be)__________ fifteen.

7. Almost three fourths of the apples (have)__________ been picked.

8. A small number of children (be)__________ educated at home.

9. A number of refugees (have)__________ been turned back at the border.

10. The book Two Lives (be)__________ about an affair between an MP and his secretary.

11. The United States (be)__________ smaller than Canada.

12. Fish and chips (be)__________ one of the most common English dishes.

13. Twenty-four hours (be)__________ a long time in politics.

14. The majority of the employees (have)__________ university degrees.

15. Most of the books (be)__________ chosen from the latest catalogue.

16. Almost three fourths of the land (be)__________ cultivated.

17. Two kilos (be)__________  pretty small for a newborn child.

18. The police (think)__________ that more than one person (be) in the stolen car.

19. A lot of the residents (have)__________  already left the island, the rest (be)__________  preparing for the typhoon.

20. A number of people (have)__________  complained about the noise.

21. More than one house in the street (have)__________ been broken in recently.



Exercise 5.3. Some of the sentences contain mistakes. Underline the mistakes and then correct them.

1. The painting was sold for $20.000 in 1925, which was a lot of money in those days.

2. A large number of women works in the clothing industry.

3. A group of teenagers in the town has organised a scheme to help old people with their shopping.

4. Do you think three pounds are a big enough tip?

5. Hamburgers and chips are not a very healthy lunch.

6. The majority of the union members have voted to go on strike, the rest of the members are expected to support the strike.

7. Our teenage son thinks there is a number of good reasons for staying up late.

8. A couple of dangerous-looking men are waiting for you.

9. One of my friends have just won three free plane tickets to New York.

10. Six weeks is a long time to wait for news of your family.

11. The majority of children’s parents are unemployed.

12. A lot of shops are close on Sundays now.

13. In connection with the theft, the outskirts have been searched.

14. The police is called if a serious accident occurs.

15. All the office staff has agreed to work late tonight to get the job finished.



6.  Special Problems of Agreement (2)


Exercise 6.1. Study the rule.             

  • When there are two subjects in a sentence, one of which is negative and the other is positive, the verb agrees with the positive subject.

 e.g. A good band, not fancy decorations, makes a promenade a success.


  • When a parenthetical expression beginning with a word (words) such as along with, accompanied by, as well as, in addition, including, like, together with, except, apart from interrupts a subject and a verb, the verb agrees with the subject, not with a word in the parenthetical expression.

 e.g. The actress accompanied by her manager is going to the party. The boys as well as their uncle are going to the barbecue.


  • We usually use a plural verb with compound subjects linked by and or both … and.

 e.g. The stapler and the glue are in the top drawer.

      Both the doctor and the surgeon have advised to have an operation on my knee.


  • Plural or singular verbs are used with any of, each of, either of, neither of, none of + plural noun/pronoun.

 e.g. Either the cafes or the cinemas is/ are a good place to meet.


  • When a subject is made of two or more items joined by either (neither) … or (nor)… we use a singular verb if the last item is singular, and a plural verb if it is plural.

 e.g. Neither the President nor his representatives are to attend the meeting.


  • But if the last item is singular and the previous item is plural, a singular or a plural verb can be used.

 e.g. Either the teachers or the principal is/ are to blame for the accident.


  • If every or each comes before a compound subject, that is joined by and, each subject is considered separately. As a result, the verb must be singular.

 e.g.  Every athlete and coach attends the banquet at the end of the school year. Each chair and table looks freshly painted.


  • If an attributive clause is preceded by the expression one of in the main clause, then the verb in the clause is plural.

 e.g. Patience is one of the requirements that make a good leader. 



Practice Activities. 

Exercise 6.2. Complete the sentences with either is/are, was/were or has/have. In some sentences both variants are possible.

1. Both those magazines and that book (be)__________ left in a study hall.

2. Soapstone was one of the rocks that (be)__________ highly prized by the Indians.

3. Either Tom or his friends (be)__________ going to clean the car.

4. Neither of the French athletes (have)__________ won this year.

5. Mum and Dad (be)__________ hoping that you’d join them this evening.

6. The horror writer Stephen King, together with the romance novelist Danielle Steel, (be)__________ the most popular of the authors.

7. The parents, not their child, (be)__________ to blame.

8. Six people including a policeman (be)__________ killed in the riot.

9. Nobody except my uncle and aunt (be)__________ willing to help me.

10. Every door and window in the cottage (be)__________ bolted.

11. Everyone, including the musicians, (have)__________ lined up for the final curtain call.

12. None of my friends (be)__________ invited to John’s birthday party.

13. Approximately four cents (be)_________ paid for each acre of land in the region a century ago.

14. Both taxes and unemployment (have)__________ increased since Mr. Brown became President.

15. The library, along with bookstores, (provide)__________ reading materials.



Exercise 6.3. Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verb in brackets.

1. Tom and Rosie were late, but the rest of us (be)__________ in time. 14.Mumps (be)__________ contagious. 
2. A number of problems (have)__________ arisen. 15. The odds on our winning (be not)__________ very high.
3. (Be)__________ bacon and eggs what you usually eat for breakfast? 16. One of our students (be)__________ missing.
4. A couple of our club members (have)__________ been chosen for the national team. 17. The goods (be)__________ already on the way.
5. J. Green, as well as M. Binchy (rank)__________ first in author popularity. 18. Average earnings (be)__________ rising sharply.
6. The United States (be)__________ a rich country. 19. The majority of the people who live around here (be)__________ over 60.
7. All the staff here (be)__________ very experienced and most (have)__________ been with us for over ten years. 20. Each child in the Browns family, as well as other members, (be)_________ given a Christmas present.
8. Only two thirds of the stolen valuables (have)__________ been found. 21. There (be)__________ a number of reasons why I believe that the family (be)__________ still as important as ever.
9. Neither the brakes, nor the starter (have)_________ been fixed properly. 22. The pills, as well as the ointment, (have)_________ proved to be absolutely safe.
10. Physics (be)__________ my least favourite subject. 23. Manchester United (have)__________ been beaten by Oxford more than once.
11. Your bathroom scales (be)__________ not very accurate. 24. Fifty percent of the tomato crop (have)__________ been ruined by the rain.
12.  $2.000 (be)__________ far too expensive for that stereo. 25. Many cattle (be)__________ suffering from a disease called BSE.
13. Binoculars (be)__________ needed to see that far.  



7. Special Problems of Agreement (3)


Exercise 7.1. Study the rule. 

  •  Some nouns that are always singular in Russian are used in the plural in English:

 e.g. arms – оружие, ashes – пепел, etc.


  • Some nouns that are always plural in Russian are used in singular in English:

 e.g. clock – часы, cream – сливки, etc. 



Practice Activities. 

Exercise 7.2. Translate the nouns into Russian and give their substituting pronouns. 

Advice, applause, arms, ashes, auspices, belongings, blues, clock, cream, clothes, contents, customs, dregs, eaves, election, evidence, field-glasses, foliage, foundations, fruit, funeral, gate, goods, grapes, greens, hair, information, ink, knowledge, lodgings, machinery, money, moustache, news, oats, outskirts, proceeds, progress, quarters, regards, research, riches, sledge, slums, stairs, suds, sweepings, thanks, twilight, wages, watch, yeast.



Exercise 7.3. Translate the words in brackets into English. 

1. We’ve got the (товар)__________, and we know how to put (его)__________ across.

2. Mary was still gazing at the (часы)__________. She couldn’t make up her mind whether (они)__________ was fast or slow.

3. A milky (сумерки)__________ crept about the stairway and the landing below.

4. He approached the (ворота)__________, and then turned at (них)__________ to look back.

5. Tom felt for his (часы)__________ and was about to draw (их)__________, when he changed his mind.

6. I seldom ask other people’s (советы)__________ and never take (их)__________.

7. Some women tint their (волосы)__________ when (они)__________ goes grey.

8. If the (похороны)__________ is detestable to you, you don’t have to go to (них)__________.

9. I would like some (виноград)__________ for dessert. Will you buy (его)__________?

10. He decided to save some (деньги)__________ and put (их)__________ in the bank.

11. The (сведения)__________ is top secret, everybody is interested in (них)__________.

12. His (пижама)__________ were stuffed untidily beneath the pillow so he couldn’t find (её)__________.

13. Dad went indoors and brought out her (имущество)__________ and placed (его)__________ as she directed.

14. There was very (мало улик)__________ against the two men, we can’t base the case on (них)__________.

15. Net (доход)__________ for 2010 were $15 million, (он)__________ will be used to fund further growth.



Exercise 7.4. Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verb in brackets.

1. Money (be)__________ the fruit of all evil as often as the root of it. 16. Most of the things you told me (be not)__________  true.
2. He stayed in cheap lodgings that (be)__________ situated not far from the university. 17. The vast majority of children (prefer)__________ watching TV to reading.
3. Once she got an offer, but the wages (be)_________ only fourteen shillings a week. 18. Ethics (be)__________ a difficult study.
4. The ashes (be)__________ still hot. 19. Five litres of petrol (be)__________ not enough, we need twice as much.
5. Where (be)__________ that five dollars I lent you? 20. One of my friends (be)__________ getting married.
6. The knowledge that I acquired on the training course (have)__________ been extremely useful. 21. Politics (have)__________ always interested me.
7. News from the scene of disaster (be not)_________ very hopeful. 22. The crew of the ship (consist)__________ of twenty seamen including the captain and his mate.
8. Your jeans (be)__________ torn. Is it fashionable?  23. His staff (be)__________ very small. I don’t know how he manages to do any business at all.
9. Fruit (be)__________ cheap this year. 24. Her hair (be)__________ loose and falling, and she wore a nurse’s dress.
10. Twenty miles (be)__________ a long way to go. 25. Last year over $10 million (be)__________ paid to the company.
11. Six shillings a week (be)__________ just enough to live from hand to mouth. 26. ‘Little Women’ (be)__________ written by L.M. Alcott.
12. He can’t leave the country until the police (return)__________ his passport. 27. As the police (be)__________ no longer able to keep order during the last strike, the military (be)__________ asked to help them.
13. Don’t you see that the shoes you are buying (be not)__________ a pair? 28. ‘Christina’s World’ is one of the paintings that (have)__________ been selected for Andrew Wyeth’s exhibition.
14. Most food, as well as tropical fruits, (be)_________ often flown to northern cities by jet. 29. All the remains of the food, as well as the broken plate, (be)__________ thrown away.
15. An increasing number of small banks (be)___________ facing crisis because of unpaid debts. 30. More than one person (be)__________ going to have to find a new job. 



Miscellaneous Practice.


Exercise 1. Open the brackets choosing the correct form of the verb which agrees with the subject noun.

1. Look, the police (have)__________ finally arrived.

2. Linguistics (be)__________ a subject taught at our university.

3. Acoustics (have)__________ developed in modern times.

4. Mumps (be)__________ an ailment of children.

5. I’m sorry, but the news (be)__________ very bad.

6. Six or seven o’clock (be)__________ a good time to start the day.

7. In her pocket there (be)__________ thirty-five cents, all she had in the world.

8. A dozen similar letters (be)__________ sent to Martin by the editors of various magazines.

9. The archives of our town (be)__________ kept in the Town Hall.

10. Splendid cattle (be)__________ bought by Mr. Smith last week.

11. Mumps (be)__________ an infectious disease.

12. Manchester United (be)__________ one of the best teams in Great Britain.

13. Checkers (be)__________ my favourite game.

14. My family (be)__________ moving to Australia.

15. The audience (be)__________ delighted with the performance.

16. The government (be)__________ planning a new defense system.

17. Twenty dollars (be)__________ not much for a pair of trousers like that.

18. The crowd (be)__________ calling for the government’s resignation.

19. When (be)__________ the army going to attack?

20. Cattle (be)__________ driven hundreds of miles by the cowboys.

21. Three hours (be)__________ long enough to look round the museum.

22. The board (be)__________ going to consider your application at the next sitting.

23. The clergy (be)__________ responsible for the spiritual welfare of the parish.

24. The public (be)__________ unaware of the problem.

25. The team (be)__________ all wearing an identical strip.

26. The crew (be) __________all experienced sailors.

27. The jury (be)__________ spending a long time over the verdict.

28. The committee (be)__________ responsible for fund-raising.

29. Billiards (be)__________ a popular game in Great Britain.

30. Your means of getting money (be not)__________ fair.

31. The first Polish annals (be)__________ written in Latin.

32. Mathematics (be)__________  a very useful subject to study.

33. These cattle (be)__________ on the way to the market.

34. Vermin (be)__________ harmful animals or insects.

35. When I'm ill, my hair (become)__________ greasy.


Exercise 2. Translate the following sentences into English.

1. Оркестр гордится своим успехом.

2. Содержимое ящика было выброшено.

3. Публике не разрешают входить в комнату, где идет заседание суда.

4. Персонал этого магазина очень дружелюбен.

5. Все местное духовенство присутствовало на церемонии.

6. Почти каждая семья в деревне имеет телевизор.

7. Прессе не разрешили присутствовать на процессе.

8. Правительство приветствует новое предложение премьер-министра.

9. Вся наша семья собирается прийти на 80-летний юбилей нашей бабушки.

10. Жюри собирается объявить имена победителей.

11. Каковы ваши политические взгляды?

12. Популярен ли бильярд в Беларуси?

13. Достаточна ли хорошая акустика у этого зала для проведения концерта классической музыки?

14. Аэробика приобрела большую популярность в последнее время.

15. Эта одежда хорошо защищает вас от холода. 





Exercise 1. State whether these statements are right or wrong, provide your answers with examples.

1. When we talk about amounts and quantities we usually use singular verbs and pronouns.

2. Only singular verbs are possible after plural number subjects in spoken calculations.

3. Plural verbs are normally used in many singular quantifying expressions with plural nouns and pronouns.

4. After expressions like one of the …plural verbs are used in relative clauses beginning with who, which or that.

5. In English a verb agrees only with the subject of a sentence, not with a following complement.



Exercise 2. Explain the use of singular and plural verbs in the following sentences.

1. The team (be)__________ going to lose.

2. The family (have)__________ decided to move to York.

3. The average family (have)__________ 3.6 members.

4. My firm (be)__________ founded in the 18th century.

5. The committee, who (be)__________ hoping to announce important changes, (be)__________ voting now.

6. The committee, which (be)__________ elected at the annual meeting, (have)__________ decided to raise membership fees for next season.

7. A team which (be)__________ full of enthusiasm (have)__________ a better chance of winning.

8. The government (have)________ promised to cut taxes.


Exercise 3. Translate the words in brackets from Russian into English.

1. A research project has been set up under the (покровительство)__________ of the University of Michigan.

2. It will be interesting to see what happens at the next (выборы)__________.

3. I plan a holiday as a way to beat the (тоска)__________.

4. He sends his best (привет)__________ to everybody at home.

5. Staff will hold (серию)__________ of meetings over the next few weeks.

6. He doesn't have the skills or (знания)__________ needed to do the job.

7. Jimmy, entering through the open gates, stared at the motorcar, a sign of real (богатство)__________.

8. Isn’t it surprising that the world's largest and richest cities contain the world's most extensive (трущобы)__________?

9. You can remove (чернила)__________ by scrubbing lightly with a nail brush, using warm water and soap (пену)__________.

10. Joe got up and left without a word of (благодарности)__________.

11. There was very (малоулик)__________ against the two men.

12. Dad went indoors and brought out her (имущество)__________ and placed (его)__________ as she directed.

13. Has everyone seen the (протокол)__________ of last month's meeting?

14. He thinks of art as (средство)__________ of expressing his pessimistic attitude to life.

15. The customs official rummaged through the (содержимое)__________ of his briefcase.



Exercise 4. Some of the sentences contain mistakes. Underline the mistakes and then correct them. 

1. A new TV series called "The Hamilton Dynasty" are starting next autumn.

2. The first prize that she got was a year's supply of baby food.

3. She looked exhausted as she managed to get only a few hour’s sleep a night.

4. There comes a time in everyone life when a big decision has to be taken.

5. The majority of students finds it quite hard to live on the amount of money they get.

6. One of the things that really makes me angry are people who don’t answer letters.

7. Half of the students attending the six-months course are from abroad.

8. If card users are not able to make their payment on time, it’s often the credit company fault.

9. It’s so irritating how she always tries to finish peoples’ sentences for them.

10. The president, together with the first lady and their daughters, is going to Europe next week.

11. I don’t think that his opinion would be the main criteria for the project.

12.  Statistics show that far more people are able to ride a bicycle than can drive a car

13. The aquarium has some interesting specimen of unusual tropical fish.

14.  After they examined the contents of our bags, we were requested to proceed to the passport control’s counter.

15. A large number of farmers are incapable of heavy work, and has given up their farms.



Exercise 5. Translate the following sentences into English.

1. Экипаж был готов выполнить приказ командира.

2. Она считает, что современная одежда – модная и удобная.

3. Статистика показывает, что 30% новых фирм разоряется в первый год.

4. Количество машин на наших дорогах увеличивается с каждым годом.

5. Вся семья сидела за столом, ожидая моего прихода.

6. Циркуль – инструмент для рисования кругов.

7. Весы используются для взвешивания продуктов.

8. Можно воспользоваться вашими ножницами? Мои недостаточно острые.

9. Некоторые из этих людей – мои друзья, остальные – мои коллеги.

10. 10 дней – не слишком длинный отпуск.

11. Парочка моих друзей собирается открыть новый хозяйственный магазин.

12. В корзинке несколько рыб – две щуки и три карпа.

13. У меня хорошая новость – дети отправляются в двухнедельное путешествие.

14. Количество исчезающих видов животных постоянно растет.

15. Фрукты очень полезны, в них много витаминов.

16. Мне кажется, я нашел средство сократить свои расходы.

17. Мне приходится запоминать много математических формул.

18. Тропические рыбки – маленькие и ярко окрашенные.

19. Очки снова сползли у него с носа.

20. Полиция расследует исчезновение м-ра Джонса.



Exercise 6.  Choose the right variant.

1. To put things right will be _____ work.

1) whole week’s    2) a whole week’s    3) a whole weeks’

2. She was wearing a black _____ with a fur collar.
1) coat of feather    2) feather’s coat    3) feather coat
3. Elizabeth is _____ youngest daughter.
1) old Mr’s Granger    2) old Mr Granger’s    3) old Mr Granger
4. Do you remember how long Snow White stayed at the _____ house?
1) seven dwarfs’    2) seven dwarf’s    3) seven dwarve’s
5. Would you eat _____ meal, if you were hungry?
1) somebody’s else    2) somebody’s else’s    3) somebody else’s
6. Don’t forget to put the _____ address at the top.
1) other person’s    2) other’s person    3) other person
7. The judge sentenced him to _____ imprisonment for this crime.
1) five year’s    2) five-years    3) five years’
8. Every year in October they hold _____ opera festival.
1) a two weeks’    2) a two-week    3) two week’s
9. We launched the new _____ magazine in April and it was a great success.
1) woman’s    2) womens’    3) women’s
10. The teachers were pleased with the _____ agreement to help fund the new playground.
1) parents’    2) parent’s    3) parents’s
11. His company has been awarded a contract to repair all the _____ engines.
1) bus’s    2) bus    3) buses’
12. The villa we are borrowing belongs to my _____ parents.
1) sister’-in-law    2) sister-in-law’s    3) sister’s-in-law’s
13. I adore _____ music especially the early staff.
1) Lennon and McCartney’s    2) Lennon’s and McCartney’s    3) Lennon and McCartney
14. Could you give me _____ worth of those bananas, please?
1) a three dollar’    2) three dollars’    3) three dollar’s
15. This term the class will be reading _____.
1) the short stories’ collection of Graham Green  2) Graham Green’s short stories’ collection  3) Graham Green’s collection of short stories
16. Inspector Walkers achieved fame with _____.
1) the famous killer’s arrest    2) the arrest of the famous killer    3) the famous killer arrest
17. She saw a fantastic article in _____ local paper.
1) the today’s    2) today’s    3) the today
18. My friend can’t talk, he uses _____ to show what he means.
1) sign’s language    2) language of sign    3) sign language
19. There is a beautiful old house for sale at the local _____.
1) estate’s agent    2) estate agent’s    3) estate agent
20. The gunman in _____ attack has been identified as Lee Giggs, an unemployed truck driver.
1) Wednesday    2) Wednesday’s    3) Wednesdays’



Exercise 7. Translate the following word combinations from Russian into English.

1. трехколесный велосипед 14. двустороннее движение
2. десятиэтажный дом 15. пятизвездочный отель
3. пятидесятилетний юбилей 16. двухгодичное плавание
4. семилетний ребенок 17. трехпроцентный налог
5. четырехмесячное плавание 18. недельный отпуск
6. трехступенчатая ракета 19. реформы Петра Первого
7. двухуровневое образование 20. десятилетний ребенок
8. двухдневная поездка 21. десятилетний юбилей
9. стометровое расстояние 22. десятилетний период
10. доклад на тридцати страницах 23. вчерашние цены
11. девятичасовой поезд 24. девятиэтажный дом
12. четырехкомнатная квартира 25. пятичасовые новости
13. двухместная машина