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Establishing goals for a team is the essential building blocks for effective team work.

Establishing=gerund (subject of sentence)

goals=object of gerund

for a team=prep phrase

is=linking verb

How do I determine subject verb agreement?

The subject is a greund, which there is no plural form, so does that mean that the verb is always singular with the word 'establishing'?

Thanks.
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Comments  
There may be rules to the contrary, but my common sense tells me that you have a singular subject. Your singular verb "is" is correct, but your plural complement "blocks" is not.

Offhand, I can't think of an example where a gerund subject would take a plural verb, unless the gerund is plural, or there are two of them.

His musings continue to astound me. Walking and running are good for the health.

Best wishes, - A.

Edit. "Musing" is a noun. Let me try again. The recent firings in the department have caused a state of panic.
Thanks for noticing the plural complement being a mistake. Mind you, it does sound rather strange to the ear for it to be singular because of the object 'goals' being plual, so it is natural for me to put the complement in plural form, too.

Do you think you would natually use the plural form in speech too (because of GOALS)? Or are you more versed in this department haha.
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Establishing goals for a team is the essential building blocks for effective teamwork.

I don't think it's necessary to say "for a team" . Also in this context, it should be "teamwork" in my opinion. Gerund usage is almost always considered singular. I can't think of an example where gerund is
used in plural context.
By the way, gerund is an act which has no imapct to the nouns receiving the action as far as being singular or plural is concerned in my opinion. So “goals” does not impact its singularity.



Making a fresh pot of coffee and breakfast for us is what my mom does first thing every morning.. I have two nouns here, coffee and breakfast but verb is still singular. It sounds perfectly fine to my ears
Eddie88 Do you think you would natually use the plural form in speech too (because of GOALS)? Or are you more versed in this department haha.
God blessed or cursed me with an ear for agreement. I never screw up!
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Goodman Making a fresh pot of coffee and breakfast for us is what my mom does first thing every morning.. I have two nouns here, coffee and breakfast but verb is still singular. It sounds perfectly fine to my ears… Hi Goodman.
But you do allow that a compound subject of gerunds could take a plural verb, do you not?
Washing and ironing are part(s) of my mom's daily routine.

The optional "s" is for Eddie.
<<<Washing and ironing arepart(s) of my mom's daily routine>>>
Sure, There are two acts here and each is subject of the sentecne which is entirely different than the question posted earlier. Plural is required here.

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Making a fresh pot of coffee and breakfast for us is what my mom does first thing every morning.. I have two nouns here, coffee and breakfast but verb is still singular. It sounds perfectly fine to my ears

When speaking, I would naturally use the singular verb here; This one sounds write to the ear for me. I just feel I might be guilty of using the plural verb in the sentence I provided. At least I know I'd be wrong!
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