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University of Toronto St. George
Innis College Courses
Vikki Visvis

LECTURE – March 17, 2011 STUDY THE EXCEPTIONS!!! That will be the tested Also there are no connections between the following rules – they are distinct **** Most indefinite pronouns are singular Ex. anyone, everyone, neither, either, etc. EXCEPTIONS: o More; most; any; all; none; some o Look at the object of the preposition in this case AGREE WITH OBJECT OF PREPOSITION If have two objects of prepositions, then agree with the first Subject following verb Usually word order is SVO o Even if reversed, verb must agree with the REAL subject o First locate the main verb and then ask yourself who is doing the action to identify the subject Subject MAY BE A COMPOUND thus use plural In cases of “There was an A and a B…” o The verb agrees with the first item, NOT THE COMPOUND “A computer and a copier WERE…” o Compound noun because have two items THUS PLURAL o VERSUS “There was a computer and a copier…” Singular here because use of “there” and “here” AND the first item was singular Agreement with collective nouns Considered a unit, acting in unison, TAKING SINGULAR VERBS “His family comes from K” versus “His family come from A, B, and C” o From K – singular because family engaging in collective action o From A, B, and C – plural because family members each had individual actions Look at context o If working together as unit – SINGULAR VERB o If doing different things – PLURAL VERB A number versus The number of… A number of X… “ARE” The number of X… “IS” o T S Elliot o T for the; S for is Exclusive to these constructions Titles for works and words referred to as words Regardless of the title is plural or singular, one title is SINGULAR Drawing attention to the word as a word, not what it means or represents Fractions Two-thirds of X = VERB agrees with X Agreeing with object of preposition “2/3 of the audience IS here” – if interpreting audience as a singular collective o But if interpreting the audience as individuals, then use “ARE” “2/3 of the jury is in consensus” o IS – because talking about one part of the jury, that is agreeing “2/3 of the jury ARE not in consensus” o ARE – because there are different opinions in the group Money Singular if specified the sum Plural if the sum is vague Nouns ending in –ics Singular when referring to field of study Otherwise, plural As well as SINGULAR if have two nouns joined by as well as “…, as well as A,…” then use singular o Commas take the A out of the equation, makes it less important o Without commas, can be plural A + B = plural Making it a compound …like using and But singular verb is also allowed Relative pronouns: who, which, that If these are used to be the subject, then verb should agree with noun that the relative pronoun refers to “…students who study.” No more grammar, now rhetorical… Choosing the right verb A single-word verb is often more forceful and formal than a 2 or 3-word verb Avoid phrasal verbs Overusing “be” Clutters up the predicate Less active WILL BE TESTED: Misplaced, squinting, dangling modifiers “only” is quite tricky – it’s placement in the sentence changes the meaning Squinting modifier is ambiguous about what it is modifying in the sentence o Two interpretation Dangling modifier doesn’t have a clear antecedent o What it is modifying is not explicitly stated and referred to Sentence structure Ind
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