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English Lesson # 3: Sentences with Neither – Nor, Either – Or

Most questions in the Sentence Error Identification part of the Civil Service Exam will include those which make use of correlative conjunctions “Neither – Nor” and “Either – Or”.

RULE: In sentences with ‘Neither-Nor’ or ‘Either-Or’, or just ‘Or’ or ‘Nor’, remember that if both the subjects are singular, the verb must be singular. If both are plural, then the verb is plural.
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English Lesson 2 : Subjects with Collective Nouns – Singular or Plural Verb?

Does a singular collective noun take a singular or plural verb? It depends.

Rule: Use a singular verb for a collective noun if the noun is acting as one unit. If the members of the collective noun do not agree or are acting differently from each other, use a plural verb.

First things first, what is a Collective Noun? A collective noun is a word for a group of specific items, animals or people.

Here are some examples of collective nouns:

armada     company    clan    caravan
school    thicket    den    flock
nest    sounder    platoon    sloth
swarm    yoke    lodge    committee
class    jury    audience    army
council    family    group    team

Here are some examples on how the rule works:

  • The flute ensemble are tuning their instruments.
  • The flute ensemble is playing at the Kiwanis Music Festival.
  • The pack of dogs were running off in different directions.
  • The pack of dogs is chasing after that poor deer.
  • The townsfolk cheers the hometown little league.
  • The troop disappear in different directions.
  • Every afternoon, the baseball team goes out to the field for practice.
  • The jury disagree about the guilt of the accused and are at lost for a final decision.
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I'm a Journalism graduate of the University of the Philippines - Diliman and I'm currently taking up units in Professional Education courses. I have written for various blogs, websites, and magazines in the past. Right now, I work as a freelance eBook writer and a mobile app developer.

While I was managing a fledgling online business and being a full-time mom to my four kids - Yana, Yshi, Yza and Vincent Jr., I took the Career Service Examination - Pencil and Paper Test - Professional Level (CSE-PPT- Prof) for the first time in December 2015. I passed and I got lucky enough to be among the Top 10 examinees in my batch, 3rd in the National Capital Region.