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Subject-Verb Agreement

                             For example:                The samples on the tray in the lab need tasting.
                                                                 The governor, as well as his press secretary, wasshot.

                             For example:                There are surprisingly few children in our neighborhood.

                             For example:                Matt and Lisa often write in the morning.
                                                                 Sonja's ability and desire to help are inspiring.

However, when the parts of the subject form a single unit or when they refer to the same person or thing, treat the subject as singular. In addition, when a compound subject is preceded by each or every, treat the subject as singular.

                             For example:                Strawberries and cream was a last-minute addition to the menu.
                                                                 Each tree, shrub, and vine needs to be sprayed.

                             For example:                A driver's license or credit card is required.

                             For example:                Everyone in class likes the teacher.

                             For example:                The class respects the teacher. (singular)
                                                                 The class are debating among themselves. (plural)

                             For example:                Lost Cities describes the discoveries of many ancient civilizations.
                                                                 "Controlled Substances" is a euphemism for illegal drugs.
                                                                 Encountering busy signals is troublesome to many people.

 Adapted from: A Writer's Reference (4th ed.) by Diana Hacker

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