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SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
Plurals in English Grammar
• To make a noun plural, we add –s
• Singular: girl
• Plural: girls
• To make a verb plural, we take away the –s.
• Singular: he talks
• Plural: they talk
Watch the Verb Endings!
Singular
• I walk
• You walk
• He/She/It walk s
• Joe walk s
• The girl walk s
Plural
• We walk
• You walk
• They walk
• Joe and Maria walk
• The girls walk
Remember there are irregular verbs:
•DO
Singular Plural
• He does They do
•HAVE
• She has They have
•BE
• He is They are
• She was They were
Tip for Subject/verb Agreement
Generally, if the subject doesn’t
end in –S, the verb will.
If the subject does end in –S,
the verb won’t.
The girl dances.
No –S on
subject
-S on
verb
The girls dance.
-S on
subject
No –S
on verb
Multiple subjects joined by “and”
• If there are two or more subjects joined by and, the subject must be
plural, so the verb will not get an “s”.
Example
• The boy and the girl dance.
(= They dance.)
No –S on
verb
Multiple subjects joined by “or”
If there are two or more subjects joined by or, the verb agrees with
the part of the subject closest to it.
Examples:
• The professor or the students walk the halls.
• The students or the professor walks the halls.
Indefinite Pronouns
•Some indefinite pronouns are always singular. Here
are some examples: anyone, everyone, someone, no
one, nobody
•Others can be either singular or plural (all, some)
• Everybody loves grammar!
• Some people love grammar.
Relative Pronouns
Relative Pronouns (who/which/that) can be either singular or plural,
depending on the word they refer to.
• The student who works hard will succeed.
• The students who work hard will succeed.
Helpful hints
Sometimes, several words come between the subject and
the verb. Just take out the phrase in the middle to see
whether or not the subject and verb agree.
 The student, though she had lots of problems in
other schools, finds/find (?) her new class easy.
 The student, though she had lots of problems
in other schools, finds her new class easy.
 The student finds her new class easy.
Prepositional phrases
The subject can never be part of a
prepositional phrase.
Example
The students in my class study / studies hard.
X
In the sentences below, do the subjects &
verbs agree?
• They goes to the gym after class to work out.
• Harry and his friends wants to see the new movie coming
out this weekend.
• The cat who is meowing at my door wants in.
• Neither the cat nor the dogs likes the new food.
• The mayor as well as his brothers are going to jail.
• Nobody wants to dance.
• The paper or the ruler are in the desk.

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subject verb agreement.ppt

  • 2. Plurals in English Grammar • To make a noun plural, we add –s • Singular: girl • Plural: girls • To make a verb plural, we take away the –s. • Singular: he talks • Plural: they talk
  • 3. Watch the Verb Endings! Singular • I walk • You walk • He/She/It walk s • Joe walk s • The girl walk s Plural • We walk • You walk • They walk • Joe and Maria walk • The girls walk
  • 4. Remember there are irregular verbs: •DO Singular Plural • He does They do •HAVE • She has They have •BE • He is They are • She was They were
  • 5. Tip for Subject/verb Agreement Generally, if the subject doesn’t end in –S, the verb will. If the subject does end in –S, the verb won’t.
  • 6. The girl dances. No –S on subject -S on verb
  • 7. The girls dance. -S on subject No –S on verb
  • 8. Multiple subjects joined by “and” • If there are two or more subjects joined by and, the subject must be plural, so the verb will not get an “s”. Example • The boy and the girl dance. (= They dance.) No –S on verb
  • 9. Multiple subjects joined by “or” If there are two or more subjects joined by or, the verb agrees with the part of the subject closest to it. Examples: • The professor or the students walk the halls. • The students or the professor walks the halls.
  • 10. Indefinite Pronouns •Some indefinite pronouns are always singular. Here are some examples: anyone, everyone, someone, no one, nobody •Others can be either singular or plural (all, some) • Everybody loves grammar! • Some people love grammar.
  • 11. Relative Pronouns Relative Pronouns (who/which/that) can be either singular or plural, depending on the word they refer to. • The student who works hard will succeed. • The students who work hard will succeed.
  • 12. Helpful hints Sometimes, several words come between the subject and the verb. Just take out the phrase in the middle to see whether or not the subject and verb agree.  The student, though she had lots of problems in other schools, finds/find (?) her new class easy.  The student, though she had lots of problems in other schools, finds her new class easy.  The student finds her new class easy.
  • 13. Prepositional phrases The subject can never be part of a prepositional phrase. Example The students in my class study / studies hard. X
  • 14. In the sentences below, do the subjects & verbs agree? • They goes to the gym after class to work out. • Harry and his friends wants to see the new movie coming out this weekend. • The cat who is meowing at my door wants in. • Neither the cat nor the dogs likes the new food. • The mayor as well as his brothers are going to jail. • Nobody wants to dance. • The paper or the ruler are in the desk.