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Subject-Verb Agreement

Introduces Subject-Verb Agreement. With examples and practice exercises.
by

Whitley Arens

on 15 September 2011

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Transcript of Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-Verb Agreement A verb should agree in number with its subject.
A word that refers to one person, place, thing, or idea is singular in number.
A word that refers to more than one is plural in number. Step one: determining whether words are singular or plural. Let's practice: stories
one
several
applies
people mouse
genius
teeth
ability
says he
has
both
toy
woman So, for subject-verb agreement to occur:
Singular subjects must take singular verbs.
Plural subjects must take plural verbs. Singular Subjects & Singular Verbs:
Rebecca attends college.
That boy delivers newspapers. Plural Subjects & Plural Verbs:
They attend college.
Those boys deliver newspapers. Note: In a verb phrase, the first helping verb agrees in number with the subject. For example:
She is attending college.
They are attending college. For example:
A boy in my class has been delivering newspapers.
Two boys in my class have been delivering newspaper. How do you know?
Most of the time, nouns ending in -s are plural (aunts, bushes, cities, tacos, friends); verbs ending in -s are generally singular (gives, takes, does, has, is). Note, though, that verbs used with the pronouns I and you do not end in -s. Time to practice: Exercise 2 on page 111 in the Holt Handbook. Complete on your handout.
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