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Subject Verb Agreement Expressions of Quantity

Subject-verb agreement is an essential part of good writing, and can make all the difference when it comes to clarity and comprehension. One area where this can be particularly challenging is when dealing with expressions of quantity – words or phrases that refer to a specific number or amount of something. In this article, we`ll look at how to ensure proper subject-verb agreement when using expressions of quantity.

When a sentence includes an expression of quantity, it can often be tricky to determine which verb form to use. For example, consider the following sentences:

– Two apples is all I need.

– Two apples are all I need.

Both of these sentences sound perfectly reasonable, but which one is correct? The answer, of course, depends on whether “two apples” is being treated as a single unit or as two separate items. In the first sentence, “two apples” is being treated as a singular unit, so the verb “is” agrees with it accordingly. In the second sentence, “two apples” is being treated as two separate items, so the verb “are” is used instead.

So, how can we determine whether an expression of quantity is being treated as a single unit or as separate items? One helpful tip is to look at the noun that follows the expression of quantity. If the noun is singular, it`s likely that the expression of quantity is being treated as a single unit. If the noun is plural, the expression of quantity is likely being treated as separate items.

For example:

– Three gallons of milk is too much for one person. (singular noun)

– Three gallons of milk are on sale at the grocery store. (plural noun)

In the first sentence, “three gallons of milk” is being treated as a single unit, so the verb “is” agrees with it accordingly. In the second sentence, “three gallons of milk” is being treated as separate items, so the verb “are” is used instead.

It`s also important to note that some expressions of quantity are always treated as singular or plural, regardless of the noun that follows. For example:

– A number of students is absent today. (singular)

– A variety of flowers are blooming in the garden. (plural)

In these cases, it`s important to memorize the rules for each expression of quantity to ensure proper subject-verb agreement.

In summary, when using expressions of quantity, it`s important to pay close attention to the noun that follows to determine whether the expression is being treated as a single unit or as separate items. Remembering the rules for each expression of quantity can also be helpful in ensuring proper subject-verb agreement. With these tips in mind, you`ll be well on your way to writing clear, grammatically correct sentences every time.

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