Verb Tenses Despite Intervening Phrases

I have noticed that some people use a plural verb with a singular subject simply because there is another plural noun in between them.

Bad Example: A tabulation of the expected uncertainties and their mitigation plans are presented in the following table.

In this example, the subject is “a tabulation,” which is singular, so it should take the singular “is” rather than the “are” that follows the plural noun “plans.”

Here’s another Bad Example:

The goal of drilling and completion operations are to achieve established production targets.

Again, the subject is “goal,” which is singular, so it should take the singular verb “is,” not the plural form “are.” Simply ignore the intervening plurals.

Here’s the rhyming rule:

“Always check to see

if subject and verb agree.”

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