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Subject-Verb Agreement: Skill in Context

At this point, now that you have completed much of the curriculum in this module, identifying and correcting subject-verb agreement problems on worksheets and quizzes probably seems easy. In the real world, however, one rarely writes worksheets, with all sentences numbered and double-spaced. Locating and correcting subject-verb agreement errors in an essay, letter, or report, is much more difficult. If in the past you have had a problem with subject-verb agreement, then you should always do a run-through during the editing process to identify and correct any subject-verb agreement problems according to the principles outlined in this module. You might even consider doing a one-through in which you re-organize all of your sentences in worksheet format (see the video by Melissa Kort on how to format your writing for editing in worksheet format).

To practice this skill before moving on to your exit assignment, take a look at the following paragraphs.  Each time you think you see a subject-verb agreement problem, click your mouse on the verb that does not agree with its subject; a pop-up window will appear letting you know if you have correctly identified a problem. If a problem with agreement exists, a correct version will be demonstrated.

"Slowly I Turned" from Wikipedia

The routine have two performers pretending to meet for the first time, with one of them becoming highly agitated over the utterance of particular words. Names and cities (such as Niagara Falls) has been used as the trigger, which then send the unbalanced person into a state of mania; the implication is that the words have an unpleasant association in the character's past. While the other performer merely act bewildered, the crazed actor relives the incident, uttering the words, "Slowly I turned...step by step...inch by inch...," as he approaches the stunned onlooker. Reacting as if this stranger is the object of his rage, the angry actor begin hitting or strangling him, until the screams of the victim shake him out of his delusion. The actor then apologizes, admitting his irrational reaction to the mention of those certain words. This follow with the victim innocently repeating the words, sparking the insane reaction all over again. This pattern is repeated in various forms, sometimes with the entrance of a third actor, uninformed as to the situation. This third person predictably ends up mentioning the words and setting off the manic performer, but with the twist that the second actor, not this new third person, are still the recipient of the violence.

"Scatterbrain" from Wikipedia

Scatterbrain was an eclectic thrash metal band formed in 1989 when Long Island Hardcore group Ludichrist featuring Tommy Christ and Glen Cummings, changed the band's name. The group released two full-length albums: Here Comes Trouble (1990) and Scamboogery (1991). Scatterbrain are best known for their songs/videos "Don't Call Me Dude" and "Down With the Ship," which integrate absurd humor into the band's eccentric thrash style. In 1993 Cummings left the group, moved to Nashville, TN and recorded with a band named Stone Deep. He also played guitar on two international Mucky Pup tours, but was never a member of the group. The remaining members Christ, Neider, Brogna and Boyko wrote and released a 7 song album titled: Mundus Intellectualis (1994) and then disbanded.





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