Exercise Correct Common Grammar Errors

Complete the following sentences, ensuring proper subject/verb and noun/pronoun agreement.

1. Roberta said she'd go to work for_paid her the most money.

(whoever/whomever)

2. The cabinet, along with the files,_to Willy.

(belong/belongs)

3. The staff expressed_support for the merger.

(its/their)

4. You went to the party with_?

(who/whom)

5. The mayor, as well as his deputies,_the initiative was a success. (say/says)

6. Neither the conductor nor the pianist_aware of the schedule change.

7. _should I consult?

(Who/Whom)

8. The report, with all of its attachments,_a strong case for our position.

(create/creates)

9. I'll go to the meeting with_leaves first.

(whoever/whomever)

10. None of us_driving to Texas.

How did you do? Here are the correct answers:

1. Roberta said she'd go to work for whoever paid her the most money.

The verb "paid" needs a subject to go with it, thus you need to use whoever. Don't be distracted by the preposition "for." Follow the three-step method discussed above.

2. The cabinet, along with the files, belongs to Willy.

Eliminate the modifying phrase "along with the files" to ensure you correctly identify the subject as "cabinet."

3. The staff expressed its support for the merger.

"Staff" is a collective noun and is treated here as singular.

4. You went to the party with whom ?

The only verb, "went," goes with the subject "you." Therefore, whom is correct, as it serves as the object of the preposition "with."

5. The mayor, as well as his deputies, says the initiative was a success.

The subject of the sentence is "mayor," a singular noun. Eliminate the phrase "as well as his deputies" to confirm that the correct choice is says.

6. Neither the conductor nor the pianist is aware of the schedule change.

"Neither" is singular if both subjects are singular.

7. Whom should I consult?

The verb is "should consult." The subject is "I." Given there is no other verb, and the verb is not a form of to be, the pronoun whom is correct.

8. The report, with all of its attachments, creates a strong case for our position.

Eliminate the modifying phrase "with all of its attachments" and you'll discover that the subject of the sentence is "report," a singular noun.

9. I'll go to the meeting with whoever leaves first.

The verb "leaves" lacks a subject; therefore, you need to use whoever. That whoever also serves as the object of the preposition "with" is secondary; its primary job is to serve as the subject of "leaves." When one word serves two purposes—an object of a preposition and a subject of a verb, as in this sentence—the subject is considered more important; thus it is proper to use whoever.

10. None of us is driving to Texas.

"None" is always singular in formal writing.

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