• None of the books she referenced (are) or (is) in the library.
• Each of the members (has) or (have) one vote.
• A number of employees (was) or (were) selected for the education committee.
• A total of 12 products (was) or (were) offered to new customers.
• The number of spelling errors (was) or (were) was distressing.
• A majority of the board (wants) or (want) the merger.
Not sure of the answers? You’re not alone. Noun/verb agreement can trip up even experienced writers, particularly when indefinite pronouns or collective nouns are involved. Here are the answers and a few rules to go along with them.
Rules for indefinite pronouns
The following indefinite pronouns always take singular verbs:
• no one
These always take the plural:
And some take the singular or plural, depending on what they’re referring to: