Module 4, Verbs: Agreement and Challenges, Lesson 4:

Agreement: Nouns that End in s


Some nouns end in s even though they are considered singular. These include words such as mathematics, civics, measles, news, physics, mumps, and molasses.

Physics is my favorite class.
The mumps is a very painful illness.

Other nouns that end in s, such as scissors, acoustics, pants, trousers, and shorts, are plural and always take a plural verb.

These scissors are mine.
Josh's pants are getting too short.
If the phrase pair of comes before a noun ending in s, always use a singular verb, even if the noun is usually plural.
This pair of pants fits perfectly.

There are some nouns ending in s that can be singular or plural. Some examples are series, species, means, chassis, corps, and headquarters.

This species of fish lives in fresh water. (just one species)
These species of fish live in salt water. (many species)

Practice What You've Learned

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Choose the correct verb to complete the sentence.
For me, physics is/are more interesting than chemistry.
Is/Are those eyeglasses the ones your literature teacher was looking for?
When we saw the look on his face, we realized the news was/were not good.
The measles is/are a very contagious disease.
Our business's headquarters is/are located in Aliso Viejo, California.
His trousers was/were getting too small, so he had to buy new ones.
These shorts comes/come in three sizes: small, medium, and large.
Mathematics is/are very difficult for a lot of people.
Molasses is/are used to make black licorice.
The acoustics in this concert hall is/are what make the music sound so beautiful.