BASIC SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT

By: Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar http://www.kau.edu.sa/SBANJER http://wwwdrshadiabanjar.blogspot.com

Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

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THE BASIC PRINCIPLE

The basic principle behind subject-verb agreement is that a singular subject needs a singular verb whereas a plural subject needs a plural verb. Singular sub. + Singular v. Pl. sub + Pl. v.

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=
Person Number

SUBJECT

VERB

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SINGULAR VERB

PLURAL VERB

My friend lives in My friends live in Boston. Boston.

Verb + -s/-es = 3rd person singular in the simple present tense. noun + -s/-es = plural

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Two or more subjects connected by

and require a plural verb.
My brother and sister live

in Boston. My brother, sister, and cousin live in Boston.

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EXCEPTION: EVERY AND EACH
Every man, woman, and child needs love. Each book and magazine is listed in the card

catalog.

Every and each are always followed by singular nouns. When there are two or more nouns connected with and the verb is singular
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Interrupting structures do not affect basic subject-verb agreement SINGULAR VERB That book on political parties is interesting.
The book I bought at

PLURAL VERB The ideas in That book are interesting.
The books I bought

the bookstore was expensive

at the bookstore were expensive

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Gerund Subject A singular Verb is required. •Growing flowers is her hobby.
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