Basic rule: The basic rule states that a singular subject takes a singular verb, while a plural subject takes a plural verb.
The trick is in knowing whether the subject is singular or plural. The next trick is recognizing a singular or plural verb.
Hint: Verbs do not form their plurals by adding an s as nouns do. in order to determine which verb is singular and which one is plural, think of which verb you would use with he or she and which verb you would use with they.
Example: talk, talks
Which one is the singular form?
Which word would you use with he?
*We say, “He talks.” Therefore, talks is singular.
*We say, “They talk.” Therefore, talk is plural.
Rule 1: Two singular subjects connected by or or nor require a singular verb.
Example: My father or my mother is arriving by KTM today.
Rule 2: Two singular subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor require a singular verb as in Rule 1.
Examples: Neither Zayn Malik nor Liam is available.
Either Sehun or Lee Min Ho is helping today with stage decorations.
Rule 3: When I is one of the two subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor, put it second and follow it with singular verb am.
Example: Neither she nor I am going to the Global Ummatic Week.
Rule 4: When a singular subject is connected by or or nor to a plural subject, put the plural subject last and use a plural verb.
Example: The serving bowl or the plates go on that shelf.
Rule 5: When a singular and plural subject are connected by either/or or neither/nor, put the plural subject last and use a plural verb.
Example: Neither Justin nor the others are available.
Rule 6: As a general rule, use a plural verb with two or more subjects when they are connected by and.
Example: A car and a bike are my means of transportation.
Rule 7: Sometimes the subject is separated from the verb by words such as along with, as well as, besides, or not. IGNORE these expressions when determining whether to use a singular or plural verb.
Examples: The politician, along with the newsmen, is expected shortly.
Excitement, as well as nervousness, is the cause of his shaking.
Rule 8: The pronouns each, everyone, every one, everybody, anyone, anybody, someone, and somebody are singular and require singular verbs. Do not be misled by what follows of.
Examples: Each of the girls sings well.
Every one of the cakes is gone.
Everyone is one word when it means everybody.
Every one is two words when the meaning is each one.