From the options given below, in which sentence do the subject and verb agree? A) Either Ridhima or Pooja have won. B) Either Ridhima or Pooja has won. C) Ridhima and Pooja are the winners. D) Ridhima or Pooja are the winners.
Hint: This question is from the topic of subject-verb agreement. Subject-verb agreement refers to the usage of the correct form of the verb with the subject; i.e. either singular or plural. For e.g. She likes singing. Here ‘likes’ is the verb that is in agreement with the subject. Had it been ‘like’, the sentence would be incorrect.
Complete answer: According to subject-verb agreement, we must always use a singular verb with a singular subject or a plural verb with a plural subject. We must first find out whether the subject is singular or plural.
Now let us loo into the given options: Option (A) Either Ridhima or Pooja have won – In this statement, the word ‘either’ has been used. When we use ‘either’ we are referring to only one of the subjects. Therefore, the subject will be singular and so should be the verb. But the verb used is ‘have’ which is plural. Thus, this option is incorrect. Option (B) Either Ridhima or Pooja has won – In this statement again, the word ‘either’ is used. The subject is therefore singular and the verb should also be singular. The verb used here is ‘has’ which is also singular. Therefore, this option is correct. Option (C) Ridhima and Pooja is winner – In this statement, we are using the conjunction ‘and’ which is used for bringing subjects, objects or clauses together. Therefore, in this case the subject will be plural (Ridhima and Pooja). Therefore, the verb should be plural. But the verb used is ‘is’ which is singular. Hence, this option is incorrect. Option (D) Ridhima or Pooja are winner – In this statement, the conjunction used is ‘or’ which means that the subject is only one of them (Ridhima or Pooja). Hence, the subject is singular and so should be the verb. But the verb is ‘are’ which is used for plural. Therefore, this option is wrong.
Thus, the correct answer is an option (B) Either Ridhima or Pooja has won.
Note: - When two singular subjects are connected with ‘or’ or ‘nor’ or ‘each’ or ‘either’, the verb is always singular. - When ‘both’ is used as conjunction then the verb is plural - When a singular and a plural subject are connected with ‘or’ and ‘nor’, then the verb should agree with the subject that is closer to the verb. This is known as the ‘proximity rule’.