Subject-Verb Agreement A verb must agree with its subject in number. A singular subject has a singular verb. Ex. The dogis hungry. A plural subject has a plural verb. Ex. The dogsare hungry.
Words Between Subject & Verb Words that come between the subject & verb do not change the subject-verb agreement. Ex. The tomatoes in this salad are brown and mushy. The subject is plural, so the verb is plural. The words in this salad don’t alter the subject-verb agreement. To find the subject, cross out prepositional phrases.
Verb before Subject The verb agrees with the subject, even if it precedes the subject. Other words may also come before the subject: there, here. In questions: who, which, what, where. Ex. Here is your receipt. Where isGlen? Unsure of the subject? Ask who or what the sentence is about. Where is who? Glen.
Compound Subjects Subjects joined by and take a plural verb. Ex. Fear and ignorancehave a lot to do with hatred. When subjects are joined by either…or, neither…nor, not only...but also, the verb agrees with the closest subject. Ex. Neither TV shows or the Internet is as enjoyable as spending time with friends. The nearer subject, internet, is singular, so the verb is too.
Indefinite Pronouns Indefinite pronouns take singular verbs. They are: One words: one, anyone, everyone, someone. Body words: nobody, anybody, somebody, everybody. Thing words: nothing, anything, everything, something, each, either, neither. *Both always takes a plural verb.
Unsure about Subject-Verb Agreement? Read each sentence aloud. If it doesn’t sound correct, there may be an agreement error. Read each sentence & focus on the subject and verb. Do they match in number?