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Basic Rule. | The basic rule states that a singular subject takes a singular verb, while a plural subject takes a plural verb. NOTE: The trick is in knowing whether the subject is singular or plural. The next trick is recognizing a singular or plural verb. |

| Hint: Verbs do not form their plurals by adding an s as nouns do. In order to determine which verb is singular and which one is plural, think of which verb you would use with he or she and which verb you would use with they. |

  | Example: | talks, talk

Which one is the singular form? Which word would you use with he? We say, "He talks." Therefore, talks is singular. We say, "They talk." Therefore, talk is plural. |


Rule 1. | Two singular subjects connected by or or nor require a singular verb. |

  | Example: | My aunt or my uncle is arriving by train today. |


Rule 2. | Two singular subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor require a singular verb as in Rule 1. |

  | Examples: | Neither Juan nor Carmen is available. |

| | Either Kiana or Casey is helping today with stage decorations. |


Rule 3. | When I is one of the two subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor, put it second and follow it with the singular verb am. |

  | Example: | Neither she nor I am going to the festival. |


Rule 4. | When a singular subject is connected by or or nor to a plural subject, put the plural subject last and use a plural verb. |

  | Example: | The serving bowl or the plates go on that shelf. |