Neither nor agreement is a grammar rule that often confuses writers and editors. It refers to the use of neither and nor in a sentence that involves two choices or options. In this article, we will discuss the neither nor agreement grammar rule, its structure, and some examples to help you use it correctly in your writing.
The neither nor agreement rule is used when there are two options or choices, and both are negative. When using neither nor in a sentence, we must make sure that the verb agrees with the subject of the sentence. The verb should be in the singular form when both options are singular and in the plural form when both options are plural.
For instance, let`s consider this example, «He neither plays football nor basketball.» In this sentence, the subject is «He,» and the verb is «plays.» As both options are singular, we use the singular form of the verb, which is «plays.» Another example is, «Neither the cat nor the dog likes milk,» where both options are in the third person singular form. Therefore, the verb should also take the singular form «likes.»
On the other hand, when both options are plural, we use the plural form of the verb. For example, «Neither the students nor the teachers are happy with the school`s decision,» where both «students» and «teachers» are plural, and the verb «are» is also plural.
It is crucial to remember that the verb must agree with the subject closest to it. For example, in the sentence «Neither the boy nor his sisters like ice cream,» the subject closest to the verb «like» is «sisters,» which is plural. Therefore, the verb should also be plural.
In some cases, neither nor agreement can be used with different verb forms. For instance, «Neither he nor I am interested in watching the movie,» where the subject «he» is singular, but the subject «I» is plural. As a result, we use the singular form of the verb «am.»
In conclusion, the neither nor agreement rule can be tricky, but it is essential to ensure grammatical correctness in your writing. Remember to match the verb with the subject closest to it, and use the singular form for two singular options and the plural form for two plural options. Mastering this grammar rule will help you produce polished and precise writing that is free from errors.