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 Refer to our previous post on CONCORD for a refresher.

Here, we look at the use of Correlative Conjunctions with regard to Concord. Examples of Correlative Conjunctions are: Neither/nor and Either/or.

When two words (nouns or pronouns) are joined with a Correlative Conjunction, the verb 'obeys' the second word(the word closest to the verb). It means that if the second word is singular, it takes a singular verb. If it's plural, it takes a plural verb. Examples:

a. Neither the men nor their mother spends time reading. 

 'The men' is plural, while 'their mother' is singular. Therefore, the sentence takes the singular verb 'spends' in deference to the second phrase. This happens vice versa. Other examples include:

b. Either you or I am happy.

c. Neither Chike nor his teachers are here.

Note: Quantifiers like 'none' and 'each' go with singular verbs (verbs that end with 's'). Examples:

a. None of the boys has arrived.

b. Each of them is here.

c. None of my relatives has travelled.

Note: Idiomatic expressions, proverbs and other Wise sayings are left the way they are said. Rules of concord do not apply to them. Examples:

a. All is well that ends well.

b. Not all that glitters is gold.

c. A rolling stone gathers no moss 

Next lesson: Phrasal Verbs 

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