Subject verb agreement
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Subject – Verb Agreement. Simple Agreement. A verb must agree with its subject in person and number. In the present tense, add “s” or “es” to the base form for the third person singular.

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Subject – Verb Agreement

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Subject verb agreement

Subject – Verb Agreement


Simple agreement

Simple Agreement

A verb must agree with its subject in person and number. In the present tense, add “s” or “es” to the base form for the third person singular.

Remember to make a noun plural you add an “s” or “es”, but a verb is just the opposite you add an “s” or “es” to make it singular.

Example: SingularPlural

She runsThey run

He watchesThey watch


Simple agreement1

Simple Agreement

In verb phrases, the helping verbs be, have, and do change forms to agree with third person subjects.

Examples:

SingularPlural

It is green.They are green.

He was sick.They were sick.

She has fallen down.They have fallen down.

Does she like to ski?Do they like to ski?


Intervening prepositional phrases

Intervening Prepositional Phrases

The verb must agree with the subject of the sentence, not with the object of a preposition. Therefore, the subject of a sentence is never contained in the prepositional phrase.

The collectionof rare stampswas very valuable.

The puppiesin the baskethave brown fur.

subject

Prepositional Phrase

verb

subject

Prepositional Phrase

verb


Linking verbs

Linking Verbs

In sentences with linking verbs, the verb agrees with the subject, not the predicate nominative.

Roses and Lavendermake a lovely bouquet.

Unfortunately, the result of the discussion was more disagreements.

subject

verb

Predicate nominative

subject

verb

Predicate nominative


Inverted sentences

Inverted Sentences

In most sentences the subject comes before the verb. However, some inverted sentences begin with a prepositional phrase followed by the verb and then the subject.

Remember the verb must agree with the subject and not the object of the prepositional phrase.

Upinto the skyfly the birds.

From the raftershang the decorations.

verb

subject

Prepositional Phrase

Prepositional Phrase

verb

subject


Inverted sentences1

Inverted Sentences

In sentences that begin with here or there, DO NOT confuse either word with the subject.

Look for the subject after the verb.

Here is my driver’s licenseThere are many cars on this highway.

Questions are inverted sentences. A helping verb often comes before the subject.

DoesJamieHave a pencil?Doallof the students have books?

verb

subject

verb

subject

verb

subject

verb

verb

subject

verb


Special subjects

Special Subjects

A collective noun names a group. In a sentence, a collective noun is singular when it names the group as a whole. It is plural when it refers to individual members of a group.

Singular: The clubholds a dance. The teamwins the game.

Plural:The classvolunteer time.

A noun of amount can refer to a single unit, in which case it is singular. It can also refer to several individual units, in which case it is plural.

Singular: Two weeksis not enough time to see Europe.

Plural: Your five days of probation are up.


Subject verb agreement

Special Subjects

Some nouns ending in “s” take a singular form while others remain plural. Many nouns that end in “ics” are either singular or plural, depending on the context.

Singular: Mumpsis usually a childhood disease.

Plural: The scissors need to be sharpened.

Singular:Ethicsis the study of principles of conduct.

Plural:That politician’s ethicshave a lot to be desired.


Compound subjects

Compound Subjects

A compound subject that is joined by and or both….and is usually plural. Some compound subjects have two parts that make up one unit, these take a singular verb.

Singular:Bacon and eggsis my favorite breakfast.

Plural:The dog and catare playing.

Plural:Both Anna and Mindywork at the hospital.

Compound subjects joined by or, nor, either…or, or neither…nor always have a verb that agrees with the closer subject.

Singular:Either Carlo or Maxhas the book.

Singular:Neither eggs nor baconis on the menu.

Plural:Neither Ed nor the boyshave much to say.


Subject verb agreement

Compound Subjects

When a compound subject is preceded by many a, every, or each, the subject takes a singular verb.

Many a hiker and climberhas gotten lost in these mountains.

Every door and windowhas been locked.

Each nook and crannyis being searched.

Every car and truckpays a toll on the highway.

Many a horse and cowhas lived in this barn.


Intervening expressions

Intervening Expressions

Certain expressions seem to create compound subjects, but DO NOT. Accompanied by, as well as, in addition to, and together with are expressions that introduce phrases that tell about the subject.

The subject remains singular and takes a singular verb.

Nebraska, as well as Montana and Idaho,gets severe winters.

Dan, plus Andrea and John, plays the piano.

Jean, accompanied by her friends, goes skiing every winter.

subject

Intervening expression

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subject

Intervening expression

verb

subject

Intervening expression

verb


Indefinite pronouns

Indefinite Pronouns

Many subjects are indefinite pronouns. A verb must agree with the indefinite pronoun used as the subject.

Singular:Nobodyin the groupis to blame.

Singular:Neitheris ready.

Singular:Oneof my friendsspeaks Greek.

Plural: Bothof my sistersare in the play.

Plural:Manyof the studentsplay tennis.

subject

prepositional phrase

verb

subject

verb

subject

prepositional phrase

verb

prepositional phrase

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subject

prepositional phrase

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Subject verb agreement

Indefinite Pronouns

Some pronouns can be either singular or plural, depending on the nouns to which they refer.

Singular:Some of the cake is gone.

Plural:Some of the houses need paint.

Singular:All of the pizza is gone.

Plural:All of the coats are on sale.


Subject verb agreement

Subject Verb Agreement

Subject Verb Agreement

Subject Verb Agreement

Subject Verb Agreement

Subject Verb Agreement

Subject Verb Agreement


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