Grammar quiz! Should these verbs be singular or plural?

Take this quiz to determine how well you grasp noun/verb agreement—and then stick around for some important lessons on the topic.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

• 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:

• each
• either
• neither
• one
• no one
• everyone
• someone
• anybody
• nobody
• somebody

These always take the plural:

• several
• few
• fewer
• both
• many
• others

And some take the singular or plural, depending on what they’re referring to:

• some
• any
• none
• all
• most

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.