Sentence Correction: Subject–Verb Agreement: A Plural Subject Consisting of Singular Nouns that are Connected by "and"

On the table is a plate, a fork, and a knife.

Well done!

This answer choice corrects the original mistake by swapping the **singular verb** *is* for the **plural verb** *are* to agree with the **plural subject** *a plate, a fork, and a knife*.
That's not it.

While this answer choice corrects the original mistake, it doesn't stop there but also turns table into tables. This change is both unnecessary, as table is correct and needn't be corrected, and constitutes a change of the original meaning.

Did you notice the change from table to tables?

What is the subject of the sentence?

Incorrect.

The subject is a plate, a fork and a knife.

Is this subject singular or plural?

Correct! The subject of the sentence is plural, which means that the verb should also be plural.

Not exactly.

The subject is plural because of the word and. The subject is plate+fork+knife.

This means that the verb should also be plural.

Very good! Is this a singular or a plural subject?

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the original mistake, it doesn't stop there and makes another change: adding the word also, making the sentence wordy. This means that this answer choice, while being grammatically correct, is stylistically flawed.

What is the subject of the sentence?

While this answer choice corrects the original mistake, it is stylistically flawed. Replacing the single word and with the three-word phrase as well as creates redundancy.

What helps us identify this mistake is the following Stop Sign:

as well as

Whenever you come across this Stop Sign, eliminate answer choices that use it and choose answer choices that use and instead.

Read carefully.
Read carefully.
Read carefully.

On the table is a plate, a fork, and

On the tables are a plate, a fork, and

On the table are a plate, a fork, and also

On the table are a plate, a fork, and

No

Yes

The table

A plate

A plate, a fork, and a knife

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

The tables

A plate, a fork and a knife

I don't know

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