How to form correct sentences?

We all know that incorrect sentence formation leads to different understanding of the sentence and conveys the different meaning other than that we want to tell. So, correct sentence formation is very important for good writing skills. So let us learn some of the basics for forming the proper sentences.


Rule 1: A singular subject must have a singular verb.

Explanation: As we have learnt in the previous post we can form the plural forms of the nouns, pronouns and verbs that agree with the other parts of sentence. From this we can follow this rule very easily.

E.g. She dislikes all the works, making the work more delay.

In this sentence “she” is a singular subject and “dislikes” is a singular verb. So the subject is in agreement with the singular verb.

When more than one singular subjects connected using the conjunctives like “or” or “nor” then the sentence must have a singular verb which means that we are choosing only one subject among two or more and assigning the verb to it.

E.g. Either the man or women has to do the job.

In this sentence “man” and “women” are both singular subjects and we are selecting only one of them at a time so the verb “has” is used which is a singular verb.

Sometimes subjects will have the singular in meaning but are used as plural form in the sentence. For these kinds of subjects we need to use singular verbs.

E.g. The news is on every morning at 7AM.

In the above sentence, “news” is a singular subject but having the plural form. So we have to use the singular verb form “is”.

Sometimes plural subjects act as a single unit. In this case we have to use singular verb.

E.g. Nuts and snacks is my favorite food.

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Here, in the above sentence, “nuts and snacks” is a singular subject but they look as plural form. So we have to use the singular verb “is”.

Usually all the titles that we use are singular. So even though they are looking loke plural form, we have to use singular verb.

E.g. Raju and Sons is a general store located in the next street.

In the above sentence, “Raju and Sons” is the name of the company which is having the plural form but it is the name of a single company. So we used a singular verb “is”.

Rule 2: A plural subject must have a plural verb.

When we are using a subject which is plural in number then we have to use a plural verb.

E.g. Humans are from earth. Aliens are from mars. Fight with each other.

In the above sentence, humans and aliens are in plural form so we used the plural form the verb “are”.

All the rules that we discussed for the usage of singular subjects and singular verbs, holds similarly for all the plural cases also.

When are having more than two subjects joined with or or nor then we have to use a plural verb.

E.g. Either people nor the government are agreeing on the bill.

If two or more singular and plural subjects are joined together with or or nor then the subject close to the verb determines agreement.

E.g. Hari or the twins are coming on the trip to Hyderabad.

In this sentence, Hari is a singular subject, “twins” is plural subject and “are” is a plural verb which is used because it is nearer to the plural subject “twins”.

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