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Lesson 3: Subject Verb Agreement

Verbs change depending on the subject you are writing about. The subject verb agreement occurs when the subject and verb endings agree in number and person. The subject of every sentence is either singular or plural and that determines the ending of the verb.

 

You can't have two "s" endings at the same time. You cannot write an "s" on the subject and an "s" on the verb. Many singular verbs have an "s" on the end; therefore, a plural subject can't have a singular verb.
Examples of Subject Verb Agreement
Singular Subject and Verb Plural Subject and Verb

That cloud does float high.

(one subject, cloud) (singular verb, does, with "s")

Those clouds do float high.

(more than one subject, clouds) (plural verb, do, without "s")

He uses a pen. We use pens.
Mom buys juice. Moms buy juice.
Dad loves his sport. Dads love their sports.
John drinks water. John and Fred drink water.

The verb and the subject must agree in the sentence. The action and the something or someone have to make sense. Singular subjects require singular verbs; plural subjects require plural verbs. In the sentences below the verbs agrees with each of the subject.

Singular Subject = Singular Verb

Example He reminds us to brush our teeth.
Singular subject:He Singular verb:reminds
Worksheets
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Some nouns cannot be counted and they are called noncount nouns. Noncount nouns cannot be cut in to parts or counted easily. They are thought of as a whole or they may be large, abstract ideas like nature or education. Noncount nouns usually have no plural form and take singular verbs.

Example

The second most popular drink in the world is tea.

"tea" is the noncountable noun. The singular verb used is "is".

Worksheets
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Plural Subject = Plural Verb.

Example Dentists remind us to brush our teeth.
Plural subject: Dentists Plural verb: remind
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Some nouns are always plural and will need a plural verb.
Examples Plural Nouns; trousers, scissors, glasses, goggles, leggings, pantyhose. tweezers, pliers, shorts, tights, jeans, binoculars, forceps, sunglasses.
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The worksheets above on the singular and plural subject verb agreement will guide you on how to read through your writing and you will learn how to check that everything makes sense and sounds correct. This background knowledge will help you to understand and use the basic English Language grammatical rules.

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Writing Tip

Singular means one person or thing.

Plural means more than one person or thing.

You can hear if the subject agrees with the verb. The boy plays.

Or, if it does not make sense. The boys plays.