Teach Basic Subject Verb Agreement to Call Center Aspirants

Edited by mahalia jovita b. bugasto, Anonymous, Eng, Alma

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Call center jobs are rampant here in the Philippines. They are one of the industry's top payers when it comes to the salaries of employees. That is why there are a lot of people who would like to work as a call center agent today or maybe in the future. Because of the boom of call centers there is also a rise on call center training facilities that can teach you what you need to know for you to become successful in the call center industry. Of course if we want to be call center agents in the future we should first know how to construct our sentences grammatically correct. How can we do that you say? We must first understand the basics and one basic thing that instructors in call center academy's do is that they teach basic subject verb agreement. We cannot complete a sentence if it doesn't have a subject or a verb, right? They should also agree with each other to extract a grammatically correct sentence. For American to understand and for you and them to experience good and smooth conversation that will help you be successful in your chosen career. If you want to know how to teach subject verb agreement to your trainees or to someone you know just follow the tips below.

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Let us tackle the SORE-THUMB of Grammar for added knowledge:

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Tip 1

You must first explain what a subject and a verb is. Give them explanations of what a subject is and what a verb is. Then sight some examples of what they are. This is for them to be able to distinguish the difference of the two.

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  1. 1
    Subject – Can be a noun or a pronoun.
    It is what the sentence is all about.
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    1. The HORSE is running. (The sentence is talking about the horse)
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  2. 2
    Verb – Action Words and Linking Verbs
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    1. The horse IS RUNNING. (IS is an example of a linking verb and RUNNING is an action word)
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Once you have differentiated the two, the trainee or student will know how to distinguish which is the subject and which is the verb.

Tip 2

Introduce the "Golden Rule" of Subject Verb Agreement. Which is "A singular subject requires a singular verb, but then a plural subject requires a plural verb".

  • EX:
  1. 1
    A few of the STUDENTS HAVE voted.
    (Subject is STUDENTS and with an S it became plural therefore requiring a Plural Verb which is HAVE)
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  2. 2
    A student is paying at the counter.
    (Subject is STUDENT which is singular thus requiring a singular verb which is IS)
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Tip 3

Tip No. 1 and 2 is to prepare your trainees for something else. They are now equipped with knowledge to tackle the more confusing topics about subject verb agreement.

Topic 1 Indefinite pronouns

Everyone, everybody, Anybody, Somebody and a lot more may seem plural to most people but do not be fooled because these are what we call INDEFINITE pronouns and they are ALWAYS singular.

  • Example:
  1. 1
    Hurry Up!
    Everyone is already at the party! (The subject is EVERYONE and the verb is IS, Singular subject requires singular verb)
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  2. 2
    Is Anyone Home?
    (Again Subject is ANYONE and verb is IS the same rule is applied)
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Topic 2 Verbs that accompanies pronouns

Verbs that accompanies pronouns such as ALL and SOME will be determined by what ALL and SOME may be referring to if it is countable or non-countable.

  • Example:
  1. 1
    SOME of the students at the mall are having fun.
    (Some refers to STUDENTS, a countable word thus requiring a plural verb which is ARE)
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  2. 2
    Some of the grain is ruined by the flood.
    (SOME refers to GRAIN, a non-countable word thus requiring a singular verb which is IS)
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Topic 3 FRACTIONAL EXPRESSIONS

In this rule the verb will be determined by what the fractional measurement is measuring if it is countable or non-countable.

  • Example:
  1. 1
    TWO FIFTHS of the GRAIN is ruined.
    (The fraction 2/5ths is referring to the grain which is a non-countable noun which requires a singular verb and that is IS)
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  2. 2
    ONE-HALF of the STUDENTS were cleaning the park last Sunday.
    (The fraction ½ is referring to the students which Is a countable noun which requires a plural verb that is WERE)
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Topic 4 Phrases

Phrases just like together with, along with, and as well as may seem to join subject but they do not work like AND.

  • Note: Disregard the words after the phrases for less confusion.
  • Example:
  1. 1
    Some of the Hay in the barn, as well as some major pieces of farm equipment was ruined in the flood.
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  2. 2
    (Disregard as well as some major pieces of farm equipment, and concentrate on the first thought that is "some of the hay in the barn")
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  3. 3
    Hay is non-countable therefore deemed singular and thus requiring a singular verb which is WAS.
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Topic 5 EITHER and NEITHER

Either and Neither without their sidekicks NOR and OR may seem plural because it may be referring to two or more things but a note to oneself Either and Neither WITHOUT their sidekicks are always singular.

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  • Example:
  1. 1
    Neither of these choices APPEARS to be satisfactory.
    (Neither is without its sidekick that is why it has a singular verb which is APPEARS)
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  • Note:
  1. 1
    For VERBS the word that has the S is singular like APPEARS and APPEAR is plural
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  2. 2
    For NOUNS the word that has the S is plural like TABLES and TABLE is singular
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But what if either and neither has their sidekicks?

It follows the rule that the nearest subject to the verb determines the verb is it will be singular or plural

  • Example:
  1. 1
    Neither the principal nor The TEACHERS ARE at fault.
    (The teachers is the subject nearest to the verb which is ARE this is because teachers is a plural noun)
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  2. 2
    Either the teachers or the PRINCIPAL has to be responsible for the year-end festival.
    (The Principal is the subject nearest to the verb which is HAS this is because principal is a singular noun)
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Topic 6 Lengthy or Numerous Phrases

Do not be fooled by lengthy or numerous phrases that may come between your subject and verb. Focus on the subject (which is what the sentence is all about) and the verb which may be a linking verb or an action verb.

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  • Example:
  1. 1
    Tim Berners-Lee, one of America's most prominent computer scientists and – as a founder of the World Wide Web Consortium – one of the most important figures in the development of the Internet, has been working quietly at MIT for many years.
     
    1. Subject: Tim Berners-Lee
    2. Verb: HAS
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Although you can read "scientists" and "figures" the main subject is Tim and since Tim is singular it requires a singular verb which is HAS

Topic 7 "OF PHRASES"

With "OF PHRASES" it may be difficult to find the real Subject and the real verb. That is why to avoid confusion you have to turn the sentences inside out first before answering.

  • Example:
  1. 1
    Connecticut is one of those states that HAVE/HAS adopted a state income tax.
    What is your answer? The correct one is HAVE
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  2. 2
    Another version of the sentence:
    INSIDE OUT. Of those states that HAVE adopted a state income tax Connecticut is one.
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The tips and topics mentioned above will help you and guide you on how to teach basic subject verb agreement to call center aspirants. After your discussions they should be able to know and distinguish the difference of the subject and the verb. Plus they should also have an idea of how to grammatical construct their sentences correctly. They are now one step closer to their goal.

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Categories : Communications & Education

Recent edits by: Eng, Anonymous, mahalia jovita b. bugasto

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