Correct Use of Nouns and Pronouns Part II
Sometimes a group of words containing a plural noun represents a single object. For example, the title of a book or a film may contain a plural noun. In such cases a singular verb is necessary.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is my favourite book.
Some expressions take singular verbs
Some common expressions such as bacon and eggs, bread and butter, fish and chips etc., take singular verbs even though they may contain a plural noun.
Bread and butter was served for breakfast.
Where is the fish and chips?
Singular pronouns require singular verbs
The pronouns such as anyone, anybody, everyone, everybody, each, anything, another, someone, somebody, no one, either and neither are singular in number. They are therefore followed by singular verbs.
Everyone in the class has learned the poem. (NOT Everyone in the class have learned the poem.)
Neither of the girls has come.
Each of the boys was given a present.
Note that after ‘each of’ ‘either of’, ‘neither of’, ‘everyone of’ and similar expressions we use a plural noun, but the verb has to be singular in number.
Use the right pronoun
Pronouns that are used as subjects of verbs are: I, we, you, he, she, they and it.
Pronouns that are used as objects of verbs or prepositions are: me, us, you, him, her, them and it. Notice that you and it do not change their forms.
We invited them. (Here we is the subject of the verb invited and them is the object.)
She is older than I am. (Here I is the subject of the verb ‘am’.)
She sat beside me. (Here she is the subject of the verb sat; me is the object of the preposition beside.)
Neither Alice nor I have been to the opera. (Here Alice and I are the subjects of the verb have been.)
The manager offered John and me a job. (Here we use ‘me’ because it is the object of the verb offered.)
He thinks that I should join them. (NOT Here I is the subject of the clause ‘I should join them’.)
Between you and me there are few secrets. (Here you and me are the objects of the preposition between.)