Joe should not follow, was not, since Joe is unique? But Joe isn`t really there, so let`s say that wasn`t the case. The sentence shows the subjunctive mind used to express things that are hypothetical, desirable, imaginary or objectively contradictory. The connective subjunctive mind pairs individual subjects with what we usually consider plural verbs. In recent years, the SAT`s testing service has not considered any of us to be absolutely unique. However, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary of English Usage: “Of course, none is as singular as plural since old English and it still is. The idea that it is unique is a myth of unknown origin that seems to have emerged in the 19th century. If this appears to you as a singular in the context, use a singular verb; If it appears as a plural, use a plural verb. Both are acceptable beyond serious criticism. If there is no clear intention that this means “not one,” a singular verb follows. Examples: my aunt or uncle arrives today by train. Neither Juan nor Carmen are available. It`s Kiana or Casey who helps decorate the scene. For example, no one was available to meet me at my favorite times. Article 5 bis.

Sometimes the subject is separated from the verb by such words, as with, as well as, except, no, etc. These words and phrases are not part of the subject. Ignore them and use a singular verb if the subject is singular. Anyone who uses a plural verb with a collective noun must be careful to be precise – and also coherent. This should not be done lightly. The following is the kind of wrong phrase we see and hear these days: sugar is unspeakable; Therefore, the sentence has a singular verb. The word there, a contraction of that, leads to bad habits in informal sentences as there are many people here today, because it is easier to say “there is” than “there is.” Basic principle: singular subjects need singular verbs; Plural subjects need plural verbs. My brother`s a nutritionist. My sisters are mathematicians. As a phrase like “Neither my brothers nor my father will sell the house” seems strange, it is probably a good idea to bring the plural subject closer to the verb whenever possible.