Today’s tip: Neither … nor

When singular subjects are joined with neither … nor, use a singular verb.

In this sentence from today’s paper: Neither the College Board nor the State Board of Education require students to take the exams to earn high school credit for the courses … the verb should be “requires.”

When subjects are joined by the correlative conjunctions neither … nor or either … or, the verb should agree with the nearest subject.

Here is a link to subject-verb agreement rules at the Guide to Grammar and Writing.

Today’s bonus link is to Celebrity English/Grammar Examples for examples of grammar problems in news writing about famous folks. It’s part of a grammar teaching site called Celebrity English.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.