主谓一致指“人称”和“数”的方面的一致关系。大多数人往往会在掌握主语和随后的谓语动词之间的一致问题上遇到困难。一般情况下,主谓之间的一致关系 由以下三个原则支配:首先是语法一致原则。用作主语的名词词组中心词和谓语动词在单复数形式上的一致,就是语法一致。也就是说,如果名词中心词是单数,动词用单数形式;如果名词中心词是复数,动词用复数形式。如:This table is a genuine antique.其次是意义一致原则。有时主语和谓语动词的一致关系取决于主语的单复数意义,而不是语法上的单复数形式,这样的一致关系就是意义一致。例如:Democratic government gradually took the place of an all-powerful monarchy.第三是就近原则。有时谓语动词的单复数形式决定于最靠近它的词语,例如:Either my grandsons or their father is coming.主谓一致关系具体可以分为以下几点:

  • (1)either,neither,each,one,the other,another,anybody,anyone,anything,somebody,someone,something,everybody,everyone,everything,nobody,no one,nothing 等不定代词作主语的句子谓语动词用单数,例如:Each of the books coasts ten dollars.
  • (2)由 or,either … or …,neither … nor …,not only … but also …,not…but… 等连接并列主语时,谓语动词的数通常遵循就近的原则,即谓语动词的单复数形式依最接近它的主语而定。特别要注意疑问句中谓语动词的形式。例如:Neither the page size a newspaper nor the number of pages in an edition has ever been standardized.
  • (3)both … and … 连接两个并列主语时,谓语动词一般用复数形式。若 and 连接的两部分指同一个人、同一物、同一事或同一概念时,谓语动词则常用单数形式。例如:Whisky and Soda is always my favorite drink.(Whisky and Soda 意为“威士忌汽水酒”,指同一物)
  • (4)在each … and each …,every … and every …,no … and no …,many a …/ more than a(an,one)… 等结构之后,谓语动词常用单数形式。例如:Every man and(every)woman is to take part in the election.
  • (5)通常作复数的集体名词包括 police,people,cattle,militia,vermin 等;通常作不可数名词的集体名词包括 poultry,foliage,machinery,equipment,furniture,merchandise 等,这类名词后的动词用单数形式;可作单数也可作复数的集体名词包括 audience,committee,crew,family,government,jury 等,可根据句意选择。
  • (6)当主语后面跟有由 as much as,rather than,more than,no less than 等引导的从属结构,或跟有由 as well as,in addition to,with,along with,together with,except 等引导的词组时,其后的动词形式取决于主语的形式。例如:The welfare department as well as the other social services, has to have its budget cut.
  • (7)表示金钱、时间、价格或度量衡的复合名词作主语时,通常把这些名词看作一个整体,谓语动词一般用单数。