在英语句子里,谓语受主语支配,其动词必需和主语在人称和数上坚持一致,这就叫主谓一致。寻其规律,大致可归结为三个原则,即语法一致、逻辑意义一致和就近一致原则。

一、语法一致原则

语法上一致就是谓语动词和主语在单、复数形式上坚持一致。

1. 以单数名词或代词、动词不定式短语、动名词短语或从句作主语时,谓语动词一般用单数形式;主语为复数时,谓语动词用复数形式。如:His father is working on the farm. / To study English well is not easy. / What he said is very important for us all. / The children were in the classroom two hours ago. / Reading in the sun is bad for your eyes.

注意:由what引导的主语从句,后面的谓语动词多数状况用单数形式,但若表语是复数或what从句是一个带有复数意义的并列结构时,主句的谓语动词用复数形式。如:What I bought were three English books. / What I say and do is (are) helpful to you.

2. 由衔接词and或both …… and衔接起来的合成主语后面,要用复数形式的谓语动词。如:Lucy and Lily are twins. / She and I are classmates. / The boy and the girl were surprised when they heard the news. / Both she and he are Young Pioneers.

注意:(1)若and所衔接的两个词是指同一个人或物时,它后面的谓语动词就应用单数形式。如:The writer and artist has come. (2)由and衔接的并列单数主语前假如分别有no, each, every more than a (an) , many a (an)修饰时,其谓语动词要用单数形式。如:Every student and every teacher was in the room. / No boy and no girl likes it.

3. 主语为单数名词或代词,固然后面跟有with, together with, except, but, like, as well as, rather than, more than, no less than, besides, including等引起的短语,谓语动词仍用单数形式;若主语为复数,谓语用复数形式。如:Mr. Green, together with his wife and children, has come to China. / Nobody but Jim and Mike was on the playground. / She, like you and Tom, is very tall.

4. either, neither, each, every 或no +单数名词和由some, any, no, every构成的复合不定代词,都作单数看待。如:Each of us has a new book. / Everything around us is matter.

注意:(1)在口语中当either或neither后跟有“of+复数名词(或代词)”作主语时,其谓语动词也可用复数。如:Neither of the texts is (are) interesting. (2)若none of后面的名词是不可数名词,它的谓语动词就要用单数;若它后面的名词是复数,它的谓语动词用单数或复数都能够。如:None of us has (have) been to America.

5. 在定语从句时,关系代词that, who, which等作主语时,其谓语动词的数应与句中先行词的数一致。如:He is one of my friends who are working hard. / He is the only one of my friends who is working hard.

6. 假如集体名词指的是整个集体,它的谓语动词用单数;假如它指集体的成员,其谓语动词就用复数形式。这些词有family, class, crowd, committee, population, audience等。如:Class Four is on the third floor. / Class Four are unable to agree upon a monitor.

注意:people, police, cattle等名词一般都用作复数。如:The police are looking for the lost child.

7. 由“a lot of, lots of, plenty of, the rest of, the majority of + 名词”构成的短语以及由“分数或百分数+名词”构成的短语作主语,其谓语动词的数要依据短语中后面名词的数而定。如:There are a lot of people in the classroom. / The rest of the lecture is wonderful. / 50% of the students in our class are girls.

注意:a number of“许多”,作定语修饰复数名词,谓语用复数;the number of“……的数量”,主语是number,谓语用单数。

8. 在倒装句中,谓语动词的数应与其后的主语一致。如:There comes the bus. / On the wall are many pictures. / Such is the result. / Such are the facts.

二、逻辑意义一致原则

逻辑意义一致就是谓语动词的数必需和主语的意义一致(因有时主语形式为单数,但意义为复数;有时形式为复数,但意义为单数)。

1. what, who, which, any, more, all等代词能够是单数,也可是复数,主要靠意思来决议。如:Which is your bag? / Which are your bags? / All is going well. / All have gone to Beijing.

2. 表示“时间、重量、长度、价值”等的名词的复数作主语时,谓语动词通常用单数形式,这是由于作主语的名词在概念上是一个整体,如:Thirty minutes is enough for the work.

3. 若英语是书名、片名、格言、剧名、报名、国名等的复数形式,其谓语动词通常用单数形式。如:“The Arabian Nights” is an interesting story-book.

4. 表数量的短语"one and a half"后接复数名词作主语时,其谓语动词可用单数形式(也可用复数。如:One and a half apples is (are) left on the table.

5. 算式中表示数目(字)的主语通常作单数看待,其谓语动词采用单数形式。如:Twelve plus eight is twenty. / Fifty-six divided by eight is seven.

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