Expressions of rupture such as half, part of, a percentage of, a majority of are sometimes singular and sometimes plural, depending on the importance. (The same is true, of course, if everyone, everyone, more, most and some act as subjects.) Sums and products of mathematical processes are expressed in singular and require singular verbs. The phrase “more than one” (strangely) takes on a singular verb: “More than one student has tried to do so.” Some of these pronouns are always singular or always plural. But some may change their number – they can be either singular or plural depending on the context. * The New Fowler`s Modern English Usage edited by R.W. Burchfield. Clarendon Press: Oxford, England. 1996. Use with permission from Oxford University Press.

P. 242. Excerpt from The Complete Idiot`s Guide to Grammar and Style © 2003 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form whatsoever. In many cases, a prepositional sentence occurs between the subject and the verb. You will find an overview of the prepositional sentences under some parts of the speech. Note: In this example, the subject of the sentence is the pair; That is why the verb must correspond to this.

(Because scissors are the subject of the preposition, scissors do not affect the number of verbs.) British English follows the same rules of the agreement, but there are subtle differences in use. For example, our neighbors on the other side of the pond consider the terms business and government in the plural and not as a singular noun. Subjects and verbs must correspond in number (singular or plural). So, if a subject is singular, its verb must also be singular; If a subject is plural, its verb must also be plural.