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Sentence Correction Notes - B
B1. If a sentence is missing subject or verb or both, it is a fragment, which is always a wrong answer choice.
B2. Sentence must have a “working” verb, which can run a sentence by itself.
B3. Clause – A group of words that contains a subject and a working verb.
B4. Main clause is a clause that could stand alone as a sentence as is, with its own subject and verb.
B5. Subordinate clause is a clause which cannot stand by itself. They are connected by subordinators such as “because” and “which”.
B6. Subject and verb must agree in number.
B7. Most of the time in construction such as …X of Y…, X is subject.
B8. Prepositional phrase is a group of words headed by a preposition. E.g. of mice, for milk, to the shop. Normally the subject is just after the preposition.
B9. Subordinate clauses that start with “who” or “which” must be eliminated.
B10. Modifiers must be eliminated to get the subject.
Addendum 1 - Valid Construction – One of the ‘noun’ (plural) + singular verb (is)
of the chairs is
B11. The meaning should guide to connect subject with verb.
B12. ‘AND’ unites singular verbs to form compound plural subject.
B13. Additive phrases do not form compound subjects:
E.g. …along with zee
…in addition to
…as well as the boss
…accompanied by me
…together with a box
…including ex and yai
The number of subject remains same.
E.g. Rajeev, as well as his friends, is going to disc.
B14. Only the word AND can change a singular subject into a plural one.
B15. Either, or….OR… neither, nor - look at the subject closest to verb.
B16. ‘Either’ or ‘neither’ alone in a sentence are considered singular; take only singular verbs.
B17. Collective Nouns are singular. E.g. Agency, army, audience, class, committee, crowd, orchestra, team.
Also, following are singular – Baggage, citrus, equipment, fleet, fruit, furniture.
Addendum 2 - Valid Construction – One of the X who/that Y…
One(or Any) of the ‘noun’ (always plural) + that/who + plural verb.
E.g. He is one of the students
(plural) who study
B18. Indefinite Pronouns are usually singular.
Anyone, anybody, anything
No one, nobody, nothing
Everyone, everybody, everything
Someone, somebody, something
Each, every (as pronouns)
B19. SANAM – Some, any, none, all, more/most – they are exception of the of-rule (see B7, B8, B9)
B20. “Not one” is always singular.
B21. Each and every – when placed before subject are singular.
B22. The number of – Singular
A number of – plural
B23. Fractions are singular.
B24. Quantities or parts – subject is in “of” part.
B25. Majority, minority, plurality – are either singular or plural depending on the context.
B26. Sometimes subject can be after the verb:
E.g. - There are cats and dogs in the house.
B27. When in doubt, select singular.
B28. Subject phrases and clauses are always singular.
E.g. - Whatever he wants to do is fine with me.
B29. A majority… is always right.
A majority of students are always right.
B30. Ranging – moves from one “things” to other
Range of – consist of many “things”
B31. To quickly run (incorrect usage)
When a word exists between ‘to’ and the ‘verb’, the choice is wrong.
SINGULAR SUBJECTS PLURAL SUBJECTS IT DEPENDS
A singular subject linked
to other nouns
by an additive phrase. Use ‘and’ Subjects joined by ‘or’ or ‘nor’
Collective nouns SANAM
Most indefinite pronouns Other numerical words or phrases
Subjects preceded by each and every
Subjects preceded by “the number of” “a number of”
Subject phrases and clauses
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