Verb-subject agreement

- Unlike many languages, English doesn’t require a verb to agree with the gender of a corresponding noun. It does, however, require agreement with number.

- Indefinite pronouns (everyone, nobody, no one, someone, etc.) are always singular. Indefinite pronouns like "all" or "some" have either plural or singular verb forms depending on what they refer to; see the examples below. If it’s something countable, such as "students" or "fish," use the plural. If it’s uncountable, like "information" or "art," use the singular.

Somebody is eating the cake. NOT Somebody are eating the cake.
Nobody was home. NOT Nobody were home.
All the information is important. NOT All the information are important.
Some of the sandwiches are gone. NOT Some of the sandwiches is gone.

- When using "neither," "either," or joining two singular subjects with "as well as" or "together with," use the singular. While these may appear to require the plural, they don’t.

Either option is fine with me.
Neither light is working.
The dog, as well as the cat, is sleeping.
John, together with Sarah, is going to the ceremony.

- "And" conjoins two subjects and requires a plural verb. On the other hand, the conjunction "or" does not do this, since it suggests only one item out of those listed. Instead, when using "or," the verb agrees with the subject closest to it.

The dog and the cat are sleeping.
My mom and dad are coming to the airport.
My sister or my brothers are coming to get me.
The swimmers or the coach is ordering lunch.

- Fractional expressions, such as "half of," "a majority of," and "part of" are difficult because they can be either plural or singular. The verb usually corresponds with the nearest noun as either plural or singular.

More than one citizen has voted.
Most of the members are unhappy with the decision.
Half the class is sick.
Half of the students are sick.

- There are nouns that always require the plural, like "glasses," "pants," "stairs," "clothes," "earnings," "children," and "scissors."

The scissors are broken.
His earnings were stagnant.
There are a lot of stairs!