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Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz

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Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz

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Subject/Verb Agreement
by Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, August 01, 2008
Posted: Friday, August 01, 2008

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A singular subject demands a singular verb; and, obviously, plural subjects demand plural verbs.

 

In proper English, subjects and verbs must agree with each other. If the subject is singular, it requires a singular verb. If a subject is plural, it requires a plural verb.

 

Here are some examples:

 

The Greyhound stops in several cities between Mobile and Birmingham.

 

It seems that beef costs a lot today.

 

Rachel cries over sad movies, rainy days, and love songs.

 

Each subject is singular: one Greyhound, one type of meat, and one person. The “s” at the end of each verb indicates that it is also singular. Since both the subject and the verb are singular, they “agree” with one another.

 

Here are some examples of plural subjects and verbs:

 

The planes out of Dulles travel all over the world on a daily basis.

 

Prices continue to climb for beef, milk, and cheese.

 

Hank and Kate plan every vacation together.

 

Each of the subjects in the above sentences is more than one: more than one plane, more than one price, and more than one person. The fact that the verbs do not end in “s” signifies that they are plural; thus, the subjects and verbs agree with one another.

 

The concept that causes so much confusion over subject-verb agreement is how we add an “s” to a noun to make it plural, but we omit the “s” to form the plural of a verb. For example, one girl becomes two girls, but she loves becomes they love.

 

When it comes to selecting the proper verb—either singular or plural—for the subject of a sentence, ask yourself which pronoun would replace that subject. If you can replace your subject with “he, she, or it,” your subject is third-person singular and in the present tense, your verb.

 

Regular Verbs

 

Singular

Plural

First Person

I love

We love

Second Person

You love

You love

Third Person

He, she, it loves

They love

 

 

Singular

Plural

First Person

I am

We are

Second Person

You are

You are

Third Person

He, she, it is

They are

 

 

Singular

Plural

First Person

I have

We have

Second Person

You have

You have

Third Person

He, she, it has

They have

 

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Bridging the Gap: Police - Japanese, Third Edition by Robert Wood

Nonverbal Japanese language communicator primarily for English speakers. Easy to use reference. Proven and effective tool...  
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