Nouns That Take Plural Verbs

Some nouns are always followed by a plural verb. Examples are: tongs, scissors, shears, trousers, pajamas, tweezers, jeans, pants, scales, glasses and binoculars.

  • The trousers are hanging in the cupboard. (NOT The trouser is hanging in the cupboard.) (NOT A trouser is hanging in the cupboard.)
  • Your jeans are too tight. (NOT Your jeans is too tight.) (NOT Your jean is too tight.)
  • The garden shears are in the drawer. (NOT The garden shear is in the drawer.) (NOT The garden shears is in the drawer.)

If we want to indicate the singular aspect of the word we use the expression ‘a pair of’. In this case, it is followed by a singular verb.

  • A pair of trousers is hanging in the cupboard.

Other common words which are normally followed by plural verbs include: clothes, congratulations, contents, goods, manners, oats, outskirts, regards, remains, savings, steps, surroundings and thanks.

Funds is followed by a plural verb when it means money.
Odds is followed by a plural verb when it means chances.
Premises is followed by a plural verb when it means building.

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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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