主詞動詞一致性
Subject-Verb Agreement

 


基本原則:單數主詞需要單數動詞;複數主詞需要複數動詞。My brother is  a nutritionist. My sisters are mathematicians.

1. 你給我記住:不定代名詞 (indefinite pronouns) anyone, everyone, someone, no  one, nobody 永遠是單數!
 
  • Everyone has done his or her homework.
  • Somebody has left her purse.

若干不定代名詞 (如 all, some) 為複數或單數 -- 視其所指的名詞為可數或不可數而定。

  • Some of the beads are missing.
  • Some of the water is gone.

相對地,none 這個不定代名詞可為單數或複數都沒關係,除非句子中有別的人事物來決定它的數。

  • None of you claims responsibility for this incident?
  • None of you claim responsibility for this incident?
  • None of the students have done their homework. (在最後這個例子中,their 這個字告訴你要使用複數動詞,不能使用單數動詞。)
2. 你給我記住:若干不定代名詞特別麻煩:everyoneeverybody 它們讓我們覺得我們好像是在談論一個人以上,所以應該使用複數動詞;而 each 的後面通常接以複數字做結尾的介系詞片語,這經常困擾我們對動詞的選擇。
 

Everyone has finished his or her homework.

記住:你一定要說 "Everybody is here." 這意謂這個字是單數,沒有什麼事情會改變此一事實。

Each of the students is responsible for doing his or her work in the  library.

別讓 "students" 給迷惑了;主詞是 each,而 each 永遠是單數:Each is  responsible.

  

3. 你給我記住:together withas well asalong with 等片語與 and 並不相同。
 
  • The mayor as well as his brothers is going to prison.
  • The mayor and his brothers are going to jail.

as well asalong with 所引導的片語係修飾前面的字 (本例為 mayor),但它並未使主詞複數化 (而 and 則有使主詞 1+1=2 的複數化作用)。
 

4. 你給我記住:neithereither 這兩個代名詞永遠是單數,即使就某一方面來說它們似乎是指兩樣事物。
 
  • Neither of the two traffic lights is working.
  • Either suit is fine with me.
5. 你給我記住:連接詞 or 並沒有結合的作用,所以,在使用 ornor 的場合,比較接近動詞的主詞決定了動詞的數。至於主詞是在動詞的前面還是後面則無關緊要。
 
  • Either my father or my brothers are going to sell the house.
  • Neither my brothers nor my father is going to sell the house.
  • Are either my brothers or my father resposible?
  • Is either my father or my brothers responsible?
6. 你給我記住:therehere 永遠、絕對不是主詞。
 
  • There are two reasons [複數主詞] for this.
  • There is no reason for this.
  • Here are two apples.
    在這種結構中,主詞跟隨在動詞之後。
7. 你給我記住:第三人稱、單數主詞 (he, she, it) 的現在式動詞以加 s 做結尾。其他動詞則否。
 

He loves; she loves;they love . . . .

8. 你給我記住:有時修飾語是放在主詞和動詞之間,但這些修飾語不應混淆主詞及其動詞之間的一致性。
 

The mayor, who has been convicted along with his four brothers on four counts of various crimes but who also seems, like a cat, to have  several political lives, is finally going to jail.

9. 你給我記住:有時當主詞的名詞具有怪異的型態,可能使我們將單數名詞誤以為複數名詞,或將複數名詞誤以為單數名詞。glasses, pants, pliers,和 scissors 等字被視為複數,除非它們的前面有 pair of 這個片語 (此時 pair 這個字就變成了主詞)。
 
  • My glasses were on the bed.
  • My pants were torn.
  • A pair of trousers is in the closet.
10. 你給我記住:分數字詞如 half of, a part of, a percentage of, a majority of 有時是單數,有時是複數,視意思而定。(當然,這也適用於 all, any,more, most some 當主詞的情況。) 數學過程的總和與乘積係以單數來表示。
 
  • Some of the voters are still angry.
  • A large percentage of the older population is voting against her.
  • Two-fifths of the troops were lost in the battle.
  • Two-fifths of the vineyard was destroyed by fire.
  • Two and two is four.
  • Four times four divided by two is eight.
11. 你給我記住:有些字以 s 做字尾,但卻是單數。
  • The news from the front is bad.
  • Measles is a dangerous disease for pregnant women.

相對地,有些以 s 做字尾的字指的是單一事物,但卻是複數。

  • My assets were wiped out in the depression.
  • The average worker's earnings have gone up dramatically.
  • Our thanks go to the workers who supported the union.

Guide to Grammar and Writing