Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lesson 36: Other Agreement Problems - part 1


  • The news is amazing!
  • Statistics is an interesting subject to Justin.


  • Proper nouns are nouns representing unique entities. Examples: Justin, China, Colgate, Physics, George Smith's High School and many others.
  • Common nouns describe a class of entities (such as city, planet or person). Examples: paper, shampoo, mother, shoes, idea, village and many others.

Note: Proper nouns are capitalized.


Rule 17.A
  • Some other nouns in -s can be singular in one meaning and plural in another. When they refer to a body of knowledge, they are singular.

example 1: Politics is an important study in the social sciences.

example 2: Physics requires an understanding of numbers.


Rule 17.B
  • But when the same words are used in a more particular sense - not politics as a field but somebody's politics- they are considered plural.

example 1: John's politics are so ambitious.

example 2: How are the acoustics in the new speech lab?



Choose the appropriate verbs in the paragraph below:

Justin (study, studies) so much every night. He (love, loves) Physics and Mathematics. During the day, Mathematics (is, are) more of a focus to him. Though Physics (need, needs) his attention as well.


  • A pair of trousers is on the seat. (Since the noun pair is present , we use -is).
  • Ted's trousers are on the seat. (Since the noun pair is absent, we use are).
  • This pair of shoes needs repair.
  • These shoes need repair.



These words are always plural and take plural verbs:
  • scissors
  • glasses
  • riches
  • means
  • pants


  • A number of students have joined the rally.
  • The number of students joining the rally is only five hundred.


~end of lesson~

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