Conjugating a verb in a sentence depends partly on whether the subject it refers to is singular or plural. In the simplest format, a singular noun or pronoun as the subject of a sentence will be followed by a singular verb, while a plural noun or pronoun will be followed by a plural verb.
Singular verbs follow subjects that refer specifically to a single person, object or entity. For example, "she," "table" and "family" all take on the singular verb construction. In the case of "family," even though the word refers to a group of people, it is a collective noun and a singular verb matches the single entity. Some additional words used as the subject of a sentence and taking on a singular verb are as follows: each, another, anyone, anybody, anything, someone, somebody, something, everybody, everything, nobody and nothing, according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center.
Plural verbs follow subjects that refer to multiple people and objects -- with the exception of collective terms, as mentioned. For example, a compound subject, like Jim and John, requires a plural verb. The exception to this occurs when two nouns are joined by the conjunction "or." In this case, the noun closest to the verb determines how it will be conjugated. For example, a flower or plants need watering, while a flower or plant needs watering.
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