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    Sentence Correction
  I: Introduction
  II: Grammar Basics
  III: Sentence Correction Tips
  IV: Three-Step Method
V: Seven Error Types  
 1. Subject-Verb Agreement
      A. Introduction
      B. Subject/Verb Separation
      C. Collective Nouns
      D. Plural/Singular
      E. Neither/Either
      F. Or/Nor
      G. Subject/Verb/Object
      H. Quantity Words
      I.   Sample Questions
 2. Modifiers
 3. Parallelism
 4. Pronoun Agreement
 5. Verb Time Sequences
 6. Comparisons
 7. Idioms
  VI: Sample Questions
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1. Subject-Verb Agreement: Or / Nor
 
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Subject-Verb Agreement

A. Introduction
B. Subject / Verb Separation
C. Collective Nouns
D. Plural / Singular
E. Neither / Either
F. Or / Nor
G. Subject / Verb / Object
H. Quantity Words
I. Sample Questions


 

If two subjects are joined by the correlative pairs "Either...or" or "Neither...nor," the verb should agree with the subject that is closer to it.

If the conjunction "nor" appears in a sentence with "neither," or the conjunction "or" with "either," then the "Neither/Either" rule (section E of this chapter) no longer applies.

In these constructions, neither and either are no longer the subject. Instead, they function as conjunctions, working in pairs with nor and or to join two other subjects in the sentence. When this occurs, the verb agrees with whichever subject is closer to it.

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This "neither…nor" sentence contains two subjects: supervisor and staff members. The third noun, client, is the object. Since the latter subject, staff members, is plural, we need the plural verb were.

GMAT Sentence Correction: If graphic doesn't load, press shift-refresh in your webbrowser to reload the page.

This example is grammatically identical to the one above except that the correlative conjunction joining the subjects is either...or. The verb must therefore agree with the subject closest which is the singular noun child. The proper verb form is the singular is.

Remember to apply this rule only when both items of the pairs "neither/nor" and "either/or" are present in the sentence.

E. Neither / Either G. Subject / Verb / Object

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