Exercise 2a: Agreement with Trick Singulars - Basic

Choose the correct word.

Question 1

Everyone took (HIS / HER / THEIR / HIS OR HER) umbrella except Maude and Oscar.

HIS

Incorrect.

"His or her" is correct. "Everyone" is a trick singular pronoun. Since it is singular, the plural "their" is incorrect. The single gender "his" or "her" also is incorrect, since we know from the names in the sentence that the group of "everyone" is made up of both females and males.

Everyone took his or her umbrella except Maude and Oscar.

HER

Incorrect.

"His or her" is correct. "Everyone" is a trick singular pronoun. Since it is singular, the plural "their" is incorrect. The single gender "his" or "her" also is incorrect, since we know from the names in the sentence that the group of "everyone" is made up of both females and males.

Everyone took his or her umbrella except Maude and Oscar.

THEIR

Incorrect.

"His or her" is correct. "Everyone" is a trick singular pronoun. Since it is singular, the plural "their" is incorrect. The single gender "his" or "her" also is incorrect, since we know from the names in the sentence that the group of "everyone" is made up of both females and males.

Everyone took his or her umbrella except Maude and Oscar.

HIS OR HER

Correct!

"His or her" is correct. "Everyone" is a trick singular pronoun. Since it is singular, the plural "their" is incorrect. The single gender "his" or "her" also is incorrect, since we know from the names in the sentence that the group of "everyone" is made up of both females and males.

Everyone took his or her umbrella except Maude and Oscar.

Question 2

"Hey," he cried, "each one of you bullies (IS / ARE) despicable!"

IS

Correct!

"Is" is correct. "Each" and "one" are trick singulars which require a verb in its singular form.

"Hey," he cried, "each one of you bullies is despicable!"

ARE

Incorrect.

"Is" is correct. "Each" and "one" are trick singulars which require a verb in its singular form.

"Hey," he cried, "each one of you bullies is despicable!"

Question 3

An old, popular song started with the line, "I ain't got nobody, and nobody (CARE / CARES) for me."

CARE

Incorrect.

"Cares" is correct. "Nobody" is a trick singular that requires its regular, present-tense verb to end in -s or -es.

An old, popular song started with the line, "I ain't got nobody, and nobody cares for me."

CARES

Correct!

"Cares" is correct. "Nobody" is a trick singular that requires its regular, present-tense verb to end in -s or -es.

An old, popular song started with the line, "I ain't got nobody, and nobody cares for me."

Question 4

Someone (IS / ARE) going to pay for this!

IS

Correct!

"Is" is correct. "Someone" is the trick singular that requires a singular verb.

Someone is going to pay for this!

ARE

Incorrect.

"Is" is correct. "Someone" is the trick singular that requires a singular verb.

Someone is going to pay for this!

Question 5

No one on the panel decided to offer (ITS / HIS OR HER / THEIR) real opinions.

ITS

Incorrect.?

"His or her" is correct. "No one" is a trick singular which requires a singular pronoun. While "its" is singular, "the panel" is made up of people and not things, so you need to use "his or her."

No one on the panel decided to offer his or her real opinions.

HIS OR HER

Correct!

"His or her" is correct. "No one" is a trick singular which requires a singular pronoun. While "its" is singular, "the panel" is made up of people and not things, so you need to use "his or her."

No one on the panel decided to offer his or her real opinions.

THEIR

Incorrect.

"His or her" is correct. "No one" is a trick singular which requires a singular pronoun. While "its" is singular, "the panel" is made up of people and not things, so you need to use "his or her."

No one on the panel decided to offer his or her real opinions.

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