Category Archives: 4. Classroom Exercises

Verifying Subject-Verb Agreement: Three Basics to Remember

Sometimes making the subject agree with the correct verb can be tricky. Use these guidelines to ensure you make the right choice.

Rule 1: Match singular subjects with singular verbs and plural subjects with plural verbs.

Example: She doesn’t work (not don’t) remotely.

Example: They don’t (not doesn’t) work remotely.

Rule 2: Use plural verbs with subjects joined by and.

Example: The manager and his assistant don’t (not doesn’t) agree on everything.

Rule 3: Match these indefinite pronouns with singular verbs: anyone, anybody, anything, each, either, every, everyone, everybody, everything, many a, neither, nobody, nothing, someone, somebody, and something.

Example: Everyone likes (not like) to be recognized for doing a good job.

Underline the subjects in the following sentences and highlight the correct verb to match. Then identify the rule that applies.

  1. Anyone who [don’t, doesn’t] file the form on time will be subject to a fine.
  2. Marketing and advertising [is/are] often considered complementary departments.
  3. Elena [laugh/laughs] so loudly that those working near her complain.
  4. Grassroots campaigners who frequently volunteer [is/are] often unpaid.
  5. The personnel director position [require/requires] knowledge of HIPAA regulations.
  6. We [was/were] looking forward to the oral presenting workshop.
  7. Both Miguel and Angela [know/knows] how to fix the jam in the copier.
  8. Although they [is/are] related, Annabelle and Zac [has/have] different last names.
  9. Every CEO [have/has] a different leadership style.
  10. Each assistant and clerk [need/needs] to complete the same training modules.
  11. Manny, who was promoted, and Avaline, who wasn’t, both [want/wants] a raise.
  12. The vlogger [post/posts] a new video every Wednesday.

Verifying Subject Exercise

Verifying Subject Exercise KEY


When to Capitalize

The rules of capitalization can be overwhelming. For the purpose of business communication, however, it’s best to focus on major rules and applications.

In the following exercise, underline every word that should be capitalized. As a reference, check your textbook (Business Communication: Process and Product, 10e, section D-2n, or Essentials of Business Communication, 12e, pp. D-37–42. You may also visit Purdue University’s Writing Lab for guidance on capitalization use.


  1. the manager’s guest ordered a coke and a caesar salad for lunch.
  2. during my orientation i learned that our human resources department handled all personnel matters.
  3. mother and father are taking my sister on an alaskan cruise.
  4. jessica, who already holds an associate’s degree, will soon graduate from bowling green state university, where she majored in accounting.
  5. during the spring she was interviewed for a job with the federal government in washington, d.c.
  6. only the president, his chief of staff, and two senators made the trip to the middle east.
  7. our vice president and director of marketing will meet with the company president at 2 p.m.
  8. my colleague and i will be making a presentation at the 40th annual computer security conference in las vegas.
  9. all the graphic designers were excited about the new additions to adobe creative cloud.
  10. advertising campaigns aimed at hispanic markets were interrupted by hurricane katrina.
  11. the marketing chief said that she preferred her samsung galaxy to the apple iphone because it came with a prepaid subscription to verizon.
  12. My uncle and my aunt are scheduled to arrive at gate 9 of o’hare airport on american airlines flight 26.
  13. please locate the businessweek article titled “downsizing web site links.”
  14. after vacationing in the rockies during the summer, we returned to the east coast in early fall.
  15. when you come on wednesday, travel east on highway 99 and exit at forest mountain road.


When to Capitalize-Solutions



Improving Vocabulary Precision: Replacing Get

[Instructors: Download a PDF of the exercise and its key at the bottom of this post.]

To encourage language precision, find an appropriate synonym for get in the numbered sentences. Consider the following synonyms:

achieve earn obtain receive
bring encourage pay secure
buy find produce succeed
construct gain provide understand
deliver generate purchase win/won
  1. To get a copy of the new medical plan, send an e-mail.
  2. Three excellent candidates applied, and our department hopes to get one of them.
  3. If you can get the lumber to the building site, we can begin construction.
  4. Getting a college degree leads to greater opportunities.
  5. You never know when your manager may go into your computer to get a file.
  6. In leading a meeting, you should get everyone to participate.
  7. Our salespeople must get results immediately.
  8. You can get greater contributions if your fundraising letter lists specifics.
  9. We expect to increase sales by getting customers to visit our new Web site.
  10. Only when you get all the facts, can you fully comprehend the problem.
  11. We can get an advantage over our competitor with snappy online sales messages.
  12. The Department of Transportation promises to get guardrails at the most dangerous spots.
  13. If you get stocks at a low price and sell at a high price, you will make a profit.
  14. Because of heavy traffic, we didn’t get to the meeting on time.
  15. Our company can definitely get the contract if we produce the best proposal.