Exercise: Subject-verb concord


Singular subjects grammatically need singular verbs, and plural subjects need plural verbs. But sometimes notional concord is used - concord according to meaning rather than strict grammar.

Choose the best words in the following.

1 The global total of homes with TV WAS/were estimated to be over 500 million by 1987.

2 But in 1988 the Chinese News Agency said the number of TV viewers in China alone was/were 600 million, watching 100 sets.

3 600 million is/are a lot of viewers.

4 The greatest number of episodes of any TV programme ever sold was/were 1,144 episodes of Coronation Street.

5 In 1971 the complete series at that date was/were sold to a Canadian company.

6 The Winds of War, about the Second World War, was/were the most expensive television production ever.

7 1.6 billion people - or a third of the world's population - are/is said to have watched Bob Geldof's original Live Aid concerts.

8 This pop star and fund raiser are/is now world famous.

9 Actually Billy Graham - as well as Bob Geldof - was/were behind these concerts.

10 Around one in ten UK households was/were without colour TV in 1988.

11 But more than one in two households in the UK has/have two or more sets. 12 Having two or three sets seem/seems unnecessary to me.

13 25 hours 21 minutes are/is said to be the average UK viewer's weekly 'fix'. 14 A majority of viewers worldwide probably watch/watches news programmes regularly.

15 News of disasters reach/reaches a huge audience.

16 What you both see and hear has/have an enormous impact.

17 So many people being killed in earthquakes and cyclones are/is tragic.

18 So-called programmes of entertainment are/is not always entertaining.

19 But apparently the audience for 'sit-coms' end 'soaps' are/is large.

20 Too much sex and violence are/is shown in my opinion.
21 Swearing - and bad language in general - are/is also prevalent.
22 A number of concerned individuals protest/protests.