Grammar Goodies 3

Subject-Verb Agreement

Be sure to make the verb agree with the subject when they are separated by other sentence components: 

  • Every plant in my garden, especially the Venus flytraps and triffids, is thriving.

  • It was Thomas Jefferson who invented the coat hangar.
  • Copernicus, whom the Catholic Church condemned as a heretic, was a great scientist.
  • The atomic bomb that fell on Hiroshima killed about 140,000 people.
  • The UN official insisted that Iraq, which is in the Middle East, had no weapons of mass destruction.

Word Usage


  • The effects of the gas leak are widespread.
  • The oil company insisted the gas leak did not affect a wide territory.
  • Your signature will effect authorization of the oil moratorium.

  • The great statues of Buddha, blown up by the Taliban, were among the wonders of the world.
  • Between you and me, excessive vaccination impairs the immune system.

  • My house is insured against cockroach stampedes.
  • To ensure compliance with the order to jump, we set the plane on fire.


Use farther for physical distance and further for nonphysical contexts:
  • How much farther will you push that load of pet rocks?
  • I'll keep pushing until I receive further instructions.

More than/Over

Use more than with numbers and over with objects:
  • More than 80 percent of US processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients.
  • Wright Flyer 1 made history when it flew over the dunes at Kitty Hawk in 1903.

continued on Grammar Goodies 4

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