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As per the following grammar rule, the singular "make" should be used but it shows "makes" in the answer. This is a little bit confusing.

Rule: When acting as subjects of a sentence, gerunds and infinitives are always singular and require singular verbs.

Sentences:
Entertaining multiple goals (makes / make) a person’s life stressful.

To plan road trips to three different cities (involves / involve) the handling of many details.

Answer:
Entertaining multiple goals "makes" a person’s life stressful.

“Entertaining multiple goals” is a gerund phrase which acts as the subject of the sentence ("singular").

To plan road trips to three different cities "involves" the handling of many details.

“To plan roads trips” is an infinitive phrase which acts as the subject of the sentence ("singular").

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But "Multiple entertaining goals make a person's life stressful," since entertaining changes from a noun into an adjective. –  Peter Shor Jun 17 '12 at 14:37

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Hmm. All the answers are already in your question (plus you said Singular "make"), so I suppose there's one basic thing you don't understand.

In English, this is a Singular Noun: "student." This is a Plural Noun: "students"

On the other hand, this is a Singular Verb: "makes." And this is a Plural Verb: "make."

Therefore, we always say:

  1. The student makes something.

  2. The students make something.

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thanks for the reply sir .. –  gaurav sharma Jun 17 '12 at 14:30
    
No prob, Himanshu! :-) Please don't hesitate to ask your questions –  Cool Elf Jun 17 '12 at 14:33
    
can you suggest me some good book of grammar and sentence completion .. mostly i deal with grammar part with my common sense but i am appearing for a competitive exam so i need to be more precise about the grammar in the sentence also i want to learn good English :) free available ebook will be an added advantage ;-) –  gaurav sharma Jun 17 '12 at 14:35
    
Essential Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy. You could also try visiting my site. I'm almost always there: coolelf.net –  Cool Elf Jun 17 '12 at 15:05

“Entertaining multiple goals” and “To plan road trips” are both singular phrases and both 3rd person 'it', hence he/she/it 'makes' or he/she/it 'involves'.

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thanks for the reply sir –  gaurav sharma Jun 17 '12 at 14:29
    
can you suggest me some good book of grammar and sentence completion .. mostly i deal with grammar part with my common sense but i am appearing for a competitive exam so i need to be more precise about the grammar in the sentence also i want to learn good English :) free available ebook will be an added advantage ;-) –  gaurav sharma Jun 17 '12 at 14:35
1  
Swan and Walters "How English Works" is useful, and has exercises. A good overview... "The Dummies Guide to Grammar". Longman's "Dictionary of Grammar and Usage" is a good mid-level reference, and for a focus on sentence construction there is Marion Field's "Improve your Written English. On-line, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl or ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar or towson.edu/ows/index.htm –  Roaring Fish Jun 17 '12 at 14:51
    
Ah you removed Murphy (?) I was going to agree - English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy Cambridge University Press ISBN: 0521532906 - it is not greatest for beginners, but the Op seems advanced enough to make good use, and it is the Bible as far as TEFL goes IMHO. Sitting on my desk infront of me now. –  Wolf5370 Jun 17 '12 at 17:38
    
No... never mentioned Murphy! It is widely used in TEFL, I know. IMO, over used, probably because it is easy. Photocopy and hand it out - no effort required. For that sort of thing, I think the Cambridge Grammar Guide For IELTS is far better. –  Roaring Fish Jun 18 '12 at 9:28

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