Conciseness

-Anonymous-

spongebob

The goal of concise writing is to use the most effective words. Now, don’t be mistaken. Conciseness doesn’t mean using big fancy words. In order to write with conciseness, an important thing to remember is to keep it simple. One common characteristic that most under-developed writers have is to draw out sentences with unnecessary words. Conciseness helps you to write clearly by eliminating words and rearranging your phrases. To be more concise a general rule when writing is using fewer, but more specific, words. For example:

Wordy sentences:

“Sarah believed, but could not confirm, that Tom had feelings for her.”

“Working as a pupil under a coach who coaches in the NFL was a fantastic experience simplebecause it helped me learn a lot.”

Concise sentence:

“Sarah assumed that Tom adored her.”

“Working as an NFL coach’s apprentice was an educational experience.”

The Concise writing uses about half the words, but gets the point across more clearly than the wordy examples.

How do you check for conciseness? Easy! Make sure every word you are using is providing something important to a sentence. If the word is not providing anything, and it’s just dead weight, delete it. In your writing, you should be looking for words known as unnecessary qualifiers: Actually, really, basically, probably, very, definitely, and somewhat. Theses words generally add dead weight to your writing, so it would be best to avoid them. Overuse of prepositional phrases chunks up your writing, and can make it unclear. Prepositions are words like: In, for, at, on, through and over. Circle these words in your draft and see if you can eliminate some of them without losing your meaning. For example:

Wordy sentences:

“My teacher showed me many different ways of writing out our work for our math problems, so it was easier for us to complete our homework later that day.”

“The reason for the failure of the football team of the University of Oregon in the championship game against the Ohio State Buckeyes, was that on that day and in that angry cattime, some players were unable to successfully tackle the offensive players.”

Concise Sentences:

“My teacher showed me convenient ways to complete my homework for tonight.”

“Oregon’s Football team lost in the championship game against Ohio State due to it’s inability to play good defense.”

By eliminating prepositional phrases, unnecessary qualifiers, and other words with dead weight, you shorten your sentences providing a more effective sentence. Another tool for your revision process is to eliminate redundant pairs. This is when the first and second words have similar meanings. Some examples include: Full and complete, each and every, always and forever. To show this in a sentence:

Redundant example: “For each and every sandwich you purchase, you will receive a free hipsterbag of chips.”

Revision: “For every sandwich you purchase, you will receive a free bag of chips.”

It’s critical to be concise in your writing, and it’s something every writer should work on. It allows your reader to understand your thoughts clearly. Students get carried away with the amount they have to write, and drawing out there sentences to reach a quota of words is only destroying their papers. Being concise in my writing is something I never thought about. It’s definitely a strong tool to use if you are having trouble with getting your point across in a clear and understandable way.

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Word Choice

-Sheldon Rowland-

Word choice is something we generally don’t put much thought into. We seem take our vocabulary for granted. Each word we use in a sentence can have a very specific connotation to another person. For example, the difference between calling some one ‘cat woman’ is drastically different from calling someone ‘cat lady. ’To most people ‘Cat Cats.jpgWoman’ is a character from Batman, while a cat lady is a stereotype of an older woman who surrounds herself with cats. The simple choice between the word ‘woman’ and the word ‘lady’ gives the audience completely different connotations, despite these two words having the same definition.

Now a more serious example is the difference between calling a fleeing Syrian a migrant or a refugee. Both of these words have been tossed around and used to categorize this group, but each word has drastically different connotations. For example, a migrant is one who is in migration, or looking for a new home to permanently stay. Migrants are also generally economic, traveling from place to place for work and generally in the agriculture industry. The term refugee implies a completely different connotation than migrant. Refugees are fleeing a place for their safety, whether for political reasons or warfare. To call someone a refugee implies that they are leaving their home due to a conflict that is out of their control, while to call someone a migrant implies that they have little reason to flee, ignoring the issues of their nation, while implying that they are arriving with purely economic reasons in mind. It’s a stark difference between the two words and this is why word choice is so crucial.

One final example is how we define an enemy through our words. Tim O’Brien wrote a fantastic book titled The Things They Carried. In this book, O’Brien describes the Vietnam war and attempts to give the reader extremely personal moments from the war. To make it authentic, O’Brien includes the other soldiers reciting slurs towards the North Vietnamese, their enemy. His choice to call the enemy combatants these slurs dehumanizes them. It removes the guilt from O’Brien and his friends for what they are doing. The connotations in these slurs paint a very different picture than the words we may use to describe a North Vietnamese person. All of this is to show how, no matter the context, word choice always plays a crucial role.

Language is our tool and we should use it properly by being selective with our words, only implying what we mean and supplying the connotations we desire. It is something we should be conscious of in our everyday lives because your word choice holds power and power can drastically alter someone’s opinions, beliefs, and views.

Active & Passive Voice

-Kate Brodsky-

So, you’re here to learn about passive and active voice. Or, maybe the difference between active and passive voice is going to be learned by you?

What is the difference between active and passive voice?

In the active voice, the performer of the action comes first, and the receiver of the action comes second. In the passive voice, this is swapped, so the receiver is first and the performer is second. For example:

The dog ate my homework.

My homework was eaten by the dog.

In the first sentence we have the dog, or the performer of the action, first. The receiver is second, and the sentence lets us know the dog has a purpose and the sentence is direct. In the second sentence, we have the passive voice. Here, the receiver is first, making the sentence sound more passive.

Here is an easy way to remember how the sentence structure changes,

Active: X Verbs Y

Passive: Y Is Verbed by X

Where X is the performer, and Y is the receiver.

 

Why choose one over the other?

Active voice is often more concise and the meaning is often easier to understand. This is the reason you hear it more in casual speech and writing. “I filled out the resume” is much more logical than “the resume was filled out by me.” Because of the concise and easy to understand nature of the active voice sentence, it sounds stronger and is generally considered better writing.

Passive voice is often avoided in writing because it sounds less reliable. Passive voice can often lend a tone of “Oh, we couldn’t avoid it, it just sort of happened” to the sentence.

Passive voice does have its advantages, however. It is useful when the performer of the action is not known, or when you are intentionally trying to keep it ambiguous. For example:

“We didn’t know if the throne had been overthrown by the younger prince,”

because if you say

“We didn’t know if the younger prince overthrew the throne,”

it could sound more accusatory. It can also be good if you want to emphasize the thing that is being acted upon. For example, if you wanted to emphasize the sadness you felt at the downfall of your beloved blueberries, you might say: “My blueberries were eaten by the rabbits!”It can also be good for just varying your sentence structure. It could be better to have your story read,

The blueberries had been attacked by the cold weather already. I couldn’t believe that the rabbits would eat my berries!

than have it read,

The cold weather had already attacked my blueberries. I couldn’t believe that the rabbits would eat my blueberries!

because it sounds repetitive, and no writer likes that.

So what should you look out for when writing?

Try not to only use the same sentence structure when writing. There are many ways to vary your sentence structure when writing, so I would not recommend only having active and passive voices used in your work. In general, pay attention to passive voice, only use it when it makes sense, and especially make sure to not overuse it.

Conciseness

-Eleanora Vosburg-

This is a fundamental, and often overlooked, aspect of writing that can make the difference between a great piece of literature, and a snooze-fest of lengthy sentences and unnecessary words. There are simple steps all writers can take to avoid this common mistake, therefore creating strong pieces of writing that can grasp hold of the reader’s attention. Follow the simple concepts of elimination, replacing, and simplifying in order to understand the purpose of conciseness in writing.

Elimination

Don’t be afraid to get rid of words! Getting rid of words can be just as powerful as adding them in. Take out the words or phrases that do not add any significance or meaning to the passage, also known as redundant words Here are examples of how elimination can strengthen your writing:

  • Before Editing: I do declare that your attendance to this meeting proves, with the utmost highest compliment intended, that you are most willing to sacrifice time out of your busy, hectic day to discuss these important, crucial matters at hand.
  •  During Editing: I do declare that your attendance at this meeting proves, with the  utmost highest compliment intended, that you are most willing to sacrifice time out of your busy, hectic day to discuss these important, crucial matters at hand
  • After Editing: Your attendance at this meeting proves that you are willing to sacrifice time out of your day to discuss these important matters.

Often it comes down to eliminating just one word:

  • Before Editing: I am very good at eating ice cream and eating Oreos.
  • During Editing: I am very good at eating ice cream and eating Oreos.
  • After Editing: I am very good at eating ice cream and Oreos.

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Replacing

There are many phrases that can be summed up in one word without losing any meaning. For example:

Due to the fact that ———————always

In order to——————————-too

In the event that—————————if

At that point in time———————then

In spite of the fact that—————-although

In regards to—————————about

less.jpg

Simplifying

As you edit your work, always look for ways to simplify what you are saying. Having a simpler way of writing can grasp the attention of the audience and make your central theme/argument/purpose more accessible.

There are three main aspects to simplifying that you should know.

  • Strong Verbs
  • Expletives
  • Active Voice

Strong Verbs are words such as: is, was, are, been, were. These verbs can cause unnecessary wordiness in your writing. Try to avoid using these whenever possible.For example:

  • Before Editing: Reading the newspaper is a great way to improve your vocabulary.
  • During Editing: Reading the newspaper is a great way to improve your vocabulary.
  • After Editing: Reading the newspaper improves your vocabulary.

Expletives attempt to introduce new topics in your writing such as: there are, it is, and there is. However, these also add unnecessary words to a piece of writing. For example:

  • Before Editing: There are so many people that assume we are alone in the universe.
  • During Editing: There are so many people that assume [that] we are alone in the universe.
  • After Editing: Many people assume that we are alone in the universe.

Active Voice should be used more than passive voice, since the latter often comes off as too wordy.

  • Before Editing: In research done by Thomas Edison, it was discovered that getting shocked by an electric socket really hurts.
  • During Editing: In research done by Thomas Edison, it was discovered that [discovered that] getting shocked by an electric socket really hurts.
  • After Editing: Thomas Edison discovered that getting shocked by an electric socket really hurts.

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Overall, the key to great writing is the ability to take out words as well as put them in. Learning how to recognize concise writing will benefit your own development as a writer. The goal of conciseness is to maintain the reader’s attention, and a wordy piece of writing will not achieve this. Having clear statements with no “fluff” will allow the reader to zero-in on the purpose of the piece as well as any other meanings and messages you intended to express.

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The Importance of Word Choice

-Anonymous-

scrabble

The term word choice refers to the decision of a writer to use a certain word to get the point across to a specific audience, specificity, tone, and diction.

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As seen is this picture, these two examples describe totally different things even if in one’s mind they may mean the same thing.  Word choice is something that may not be noticed while writing and often times takes reading over your writing multiple times.

Selecting a word in your writing should start by finding a word and making absolutely sure that is an accurate choice to get your exact meaning across.  The next step is to make sure that this word will mean what you want it to in the minds of your intended audience.

Word choice is such an important aspect of writing that you can completely lose your reader if you do not select the appropriate word.  The whole effort you put into writing and revising could be lost with a simple choice of words.

Six Principles of Word Choice

  1. Choose understandable words.
  2. Use specific, precise words.
  3. Choose strong words.
  4. Emphasize positive words.
  5. Avoid overused words.
  6. Avoid obsolete words.

(Adapted from Business Communication, 8th ed., by A.C. Krizan, Patricia Merrier, Joyce P. Logan, and Karen Williams. South-Western Cengage, 2011)

typewriter

If words are too difficult for your reader, you may be unable to express your argument effectively.  However, if words are too simple for your intended audience, the reader may become insulted or bored of your writing.

Michael Scott: [reading from the suggestion box] “You need to do something about your B.O.”

Dwight Schrute: [repeating to staff] “You need to do something about your B.O.”

Michael Scott: Okay. Now, I don’t know who this suggestion is meant for, but it’s more of a personal suggestion. And not an office suggestion. Far be it from me to use this as a platform to embarrass anybody.

Toby: Aren’t the suggestions meant for you?

Michael Scott: Well, Toby, if by me, you are inferring that I have B.O., then I would say that that is a very poor choice of words.

Creed: Michael, he wasn’t inferring, he was implying. You were inferring.

(Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, Paul Lieberstein, and Creed Bratton in “Performance Review.” The Office, 2005)

old lady

Often times, the second time going through your writing you will find awkward and generic words that you may be able to simply replace, enhancing the power of your writing.  The key to perfecting word choice is being patient, respecting the power of words, and knowing the audience’s intellectual level.

Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.

I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least–at least I mean what I say–that’s the same thing, you know.

Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “You might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see!’”

-Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

He said it twice because he had never said it before, and it sounded funny.”

-Winnie The Pooh

Prepositions

-Matt Schasel-

Prepositions are some of the most commonly misused forms of grammar in the English language. While not technically a rule of the English language, and more a rule of the dead language of Latin, prepositions are intended to be used directly before nouns, pronouns, or other substantives, to form phrases that serve as verb modifiers, nouns, or adjectives to represent other relationships. While not widely used, the rule is/was an attempt to conform to the rules of Latin in the earlier centuries of English language. However it is not popularly adopted. Often times in everyday conversations, we commonly end sentences with prepositions. We have done this enough to a point where it is seemingly commonplace to see and hear a sentence concluded with a preposition. However, this is technically incorrect. But why? I understand that rules are rules but, for the love of God, sometimes ending phrases with prepositions has to be better than their “grammatically correct” counterpart.

This is no better illustrated through one of my favorite TV shows, The Last Man on Earth, on Fox. The clip displayed by the tweet from the show’s Twitter account occurs when one Twitter.jpgof the characters, Carol, pulls a gun on the other one, Phil. He frantically exclaims, “Carol! What do you need that gun out for?”And while holding him at gunpoint, she “corrects” his grammar to “Out for what do you need that gun?!” as seen by the tweet. This is preposterous. How in the misconstrued world of language and grammar is that sentence more grammatically correct than ending one with a preposition?

While I might validate the reasoning behind the proper grammatical use of a preposition in a sentence, I by no means agree with it. Prepositions are designed to be a precursor to an ensuing noun or pronoun or similar functional. Using them as a conclusion of a sentence is, by definition, incorrect. The “dangling preposition,” as it is known by, is a widely used phenomena. As a society, it is more adopted than its proper counterpart. While it might be wrong, it sounds so right.

Preceding this scene, Phil and Carol first meet and she initially pulls the gun on him. It was their first experience with each other, and Phil’s first experience with a grammatical headache. He pleads with Carol that there is nothing to be afraid of, hoping he can soothe Carol’s fears. An extremely common phrase exclaimed by Phil, it found no common ground between him and Carol, only further expanding their differences. Carol replies, correcting Phil, and the interaction is shown through the gifs:

Further exemplified throughout the remainder of the episode of The Last Man on Earth, there is a following scene in which Phil and Carol attempt to hash out their differences and begin to form a connection. Disgruntled, Phil says to “just get this over with.” If you are quick at identifying dangling prepositions by now, you will realize that this is another example of one. Carol immediately corrects him as if it was a sixth sense of hers, replying “Over with which to get this.” Really? Over with which to get this? That is grammatically correct?

While I do not necessarily understand what is considered proper according to the Latin rules of language, as the English complement conformed to, it is clear that while technically incorrect, the use of a dangling preposition is widespread in the English language and society. We will find that others understand us increasingly more, the less proper we speak, to a certain extent of course. And one of those laws that should be willingly sacrificed to gain understanding, is not ending sentences in prepositions. For all those that have not seen The Last Man on Earth, I highly recommend it; you can find several examples of dangling prepositions and their corrected equivalents, whether they sound right or not.

Subject-Verb Agreement

-Amanda Sampson-

“Everyone in the class are responsible for emailing their Grammar-Gossip blog post on time.”

“This dog jump a long distance.”

“The math club were the best in the state.”

“Either are okay.”

“There is some concerns upon the matter.”

Do any of these statements sound strange to you? Perhaps it was just the slip of the tongue or an unawareness on the matter, but each of these phrases lack subject-verb agreement. When making a sentence, many different factors go into creating a phrase that correctly connects the right noun to the right verb.

When to Use Plural Verbs vs. Singular Verbs:

Verbs are used to connect a noun, or subject, to an action. In order to do that correctly, the subject must not lose track of its stance as either a plural or singular noun. These examples are typically the simplest of them all because they “flow” in a smooth way.

When two or more nouns or pronouns are used in a sentence, a plural verb is used:

He and his brothers are going to the basketball game.

When only one noun or pronoun is used, a singular verb is used:

She wants the Jason Derulo concert ticket.

pirates are

Okay that is simple, but when does it start to get tricky?

In some sentences, it is difficult to distinguish how many subjects are being used.

For example, the phrases, “My friend and my boyfriend” and “My friend and boyfriend” have two completely different meanings. In the first example, ‘my’ is used twice, suggesting there are two subjects. In the second example, the lack of distinction suggests that there is only one subject, thus the friend and boyfriend must be the same person. Just for comparison, here are sentence examples of each:

My friend and my boyfriend have arrived at the airport.

My friend and boyfriend has arrived at the airport.

Another tricky example would be the use of phrases which come in between the use of a subject and action.

For example: All of the cars, especially the red one, are extremely fast.

The phase, “especially the red one” should not determine the verb tense used. Instead, the first subject used always determines the verb used after.

pronoun

Are there any exceptions to subject-verb agreement?

English is a weird language, so of course there are going to be exceptions. In some cases, different words carry different connotations which then changes the word’s subject as singular or plural.

One of the most common examples of this is the use of the word ‘dollars’. When referring to the amount, dollars would be accompanied by a singular verb. However, when referring to the physical dollar, dollars would be accompanied by a plural verb.

For example: Two dollars is all I need for two cans of Arnold Palmer.

While, Dollars are used in the United States as a form of currency.

Also, if any two nouns fall under the category of ‘one idea,’ then the verb tense must be singular. For example:

Peanut butter and jelly is all I need in the morning

is a valid sentence because ‘peanut butter and jelly’ is considered one idea, not two separate subjects.

Hopefully these examples will help you in your future writing!

How To: A.R.T.I.C.L.E.

-Tri D. Le-

How to article

Have you ever struggled to collect and construct your information and graphics to create an A.R.T.I.C.L.E? Well, worry no more because I’m here to show you the basic of A.R.T.I.C.L.E. Now, A.R.T.I.C.L.E stands for:

  • Arrangement
  • Research
  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Conclusion
  • List of Sources
  • Editing

Arrangement is probably one of the hardest parts of writing an article, because it consists no ideas.jpgof drafting out your ideas and your paper. Knowing what to write is important. To start brainstorming your ideas, create an idea map, a storyboard or an outline. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you can begin your idea at any point in the article, so just try your best.

Once you’ve got your ideas and outline down, start gathering information through research. These two process should be done as early as possible, in case you need to acquire more information. Remember to keep a list of sources that you used; you’ll need to cite that information later.

finish research.jpg

Next are the title and introduction, which are two key factors that help to hook in the audience. Both the title and introduction need to be concise and intriguing. The introduction should also provide background on the focus and context of your article. You can use a question or an explanation of how are you approaching the idea. It would also be good if you end it with a thesis statement.

e.g. How can decisions made by love and fear effect on our life?

title

Once you have finish with writing the discussion part of the article, you encounter the conclusion, which is something that can be terrifying! A conclusion should provide the findings or what have your discussion has shown. Start by referring back to your thesis statement and use your discussion that supports your thesis. Remember to briefly explain why your discussion is significant and try to end with a supported proposition, but allow the audience to expand on it.

fire conclusion.jpg

Next comes your bibliography, or list of sources, which is an extremely important part because it proves that your findings and discussions are not plagiarized. Cite any information that you took or paraphrased from another source. There are many different citation styles. Choose the one that is required or the one that suits you the best.

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Finally is the editing phase. Many people tend to skip this phase because of procrastination or being lazy, such as I am, but it’s a very crucial step to make sure that your article is organized and your discussions are clear. Revise your thesis for your introduction, your discussion, and conclusion. Check your grammar, spelling, vocabulary, punctuation, and mechanics. Reading backwards helps with detecting spelling errors or details. Reading forward many times can also help with the process. Asking a peer or a teacher would be a good idea to see if they understand your article or if you’ve made any mistakes.

read now

Next time if you forgot how to write an article, just remember its acronym, A.R.T.I.C.L.E.

 

Are you struggling with Prepositions?

-Anonymous-

comic.jpg

Prepositions and prepositional phrases are something we use in our daily conversations, sometimes without even noticing! They are one of the hardest concepts to master in the English language. You are not wrong if you think that they are intuitive, like second nature to us. In fact, most of the time they aren’t complicated. Prepositions such as in, on, and at, are probably the most basic ones that you learned during preschool, and they are not hard to use. For example:

The boss is at a meeting.

The dog is the bathroom.

The cookie jar is on the table.

However, the following examples also have preposition or prepositional phrase in them:

They have been fighting since this morning.

The math homework took less than half an hour.

We got a cat instead of a dog for the dorm.

Did you spot them?

The prepositions were since, than, and instead of.  Confusing, right? Let start over, from the basics.

What are prepositions or prepositional phrases?

Prepositions are words we use in a sentence that show the relationship between two other words. Prepositional phrases are simply a phase that consist of a preposition, such as into the woods.

Here is a list of some commonly use prepositions:

Chart.jpg

Preposition can be used to express different relationships. The following groups are the most common:

  • Location/Space
  • Time
  • Directional
  • Other relations (Comparison, possession, idiom)

Location:

Generally speaking in, on, or at can be viewed as a scale of specificity,  where in shows the most general relationship and at express the most specific description.

In is used when the subject is being surrounded by the object or a container of some sort.

  Examples: In a box, in a storm, in the house

On is used when the subject is on some kind of surface.

       Examples: on the table, on the floor, on the highway

At is used to express a specific location.

  Examples: at the train station, at the gate, at the dinner table

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Time:

In: Used to describe a long period of time or any amount of time (Months, minutes)

On: Used to describe a specific period of time (On a specific day/week)

At: Used to describe a precise time of the day (At eight in the morning)

Directional:

infographic

These are pretty self-explanatory and are often use to describe the spatial relations of objects.

Other:

  • Comparison
    • Than: Used to describe differences between two objects
      • Example: This apple is bigger than that orange.
  • Possession: This is probably one of the most confusing use of prepositions because we often use them without noticing, which is also the reason people misuse them!
    • Of: Shows belonging
      • Examples: The student of this school
    • Of: Shows amount
      • Examples: A cup of sugar

Common Mistakes:

One of the most common mistake people make while using prepositions is word choice. The pictures below can show you some examples. Most of the time, they will sound fine but it is actually not the proper way to phrase them. Another common mistake is when people add prepositional phrases to sentences unnecessarily.

mistakesExamples:

Incorrect: He married with his best friend.

Correct: He married his best friend.

Now that you learn how to use to them properly, don’t forget to keep them in your daily lives!

 

Subject-Verb Agreement

-Anonymous-

 Subject-Verb agreement helps us make sure that, grammatically, the verb in a sentence matches the preceding subject. There are a lot of rules that go with subject-verb agreement, but understanding them helps prevent grammatical mistakes.

 The basic theme is that a singular verb must match a singular subject, and a plural verb must match a plural subject. Here are some rules that go with subject-verb agreement:

 The first one is pretty simple. Singular subjects must have singular verbs. Some singular subjects are house and her. For example, in the sentence:

 Stephen Curry is the greatest 3-point shooter of all time.

the subject, Stephen Curry, is singular, so the verb would be singular; in this case, is. 

Let’s keep going. If the word of is in a sentence, the subject will always be before of. For example:chocolate.jpg

That box of chocolates was a great gift.

The subject, coming before the word of, would be box, not chocolates. This makes the corresponding verb singular; thus, the verb used was was.

Moving on. Two singular subjects connected by the words or or neither also use a singular verb.For example:

 Either my brother or sister normally takes out the trash.

Because both of the subjects are singular, the verb will be singular, in this case being takes.

 However, when two singular subjects are connected with the word and, use a plural verb. For example:

Mike and John both really want to go to the concert.

 The two subjects, Mike and John, connected by the word and, require a plural verb, in this case, want.

 frCertain words that separate the subject are ignored, much like Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. These include along with, as well as, and besides. For example:

Franklin Roosevelt, along with Ronald Reagan, is seen as a transformative president.
The along with is ignored, and the subject, Franklin Roosevelt, requires a singular verb, in this case, is.

Okay, so this part is where it gets a bit confusing! When indicating a portion of something, followed by the word of, the verb must correspond to the verb after the word of. Let’s use an example:

A lot of Americans are disillusioned with the political establishment.

In this case, the verb corresponds to the subject after the word of. So, the verb are corresponds to the plural noun Americans.

Hang in there, we’re almost done.

In sentences beginning with here or there, the subject corresponds to the verb. Example:

There are many challenges of growing up in poverty.

The verb are is plural, so the subject will be plural, in this case, challenges.

Alright, last one.

The words each,  nobody, everyone, everybody, anyone, anybody, someone, or somebody are singular and require singular verbs:

Everyone is eager to see President Obama when he visits our school.

The subject, everyone, is singular and the verb, is, is also singular.

Now I know that there are a lot of rules. The key things to remember are that singular subjects require singular verbs, and plural subjects require plural verbs.

If you’ve had the endurance to read the whole thing through, congratulations. For one last test, point out the subject and verb agreement in this last picture: ROcky