Subject-verb Agreement

Every sentence must have a verb. In addition, the verb must agree with the subject. A singular subject requires a singular verb, while a plural subject requires a plural verb.

The basics

Subject

Verb

I

am / have / go / see / read …

you
we
they
both

are / have / go / see / read …

he
she
it
everyone
anyone
nobody
each
neither…nor
neither…nor

is/ has / goes / sees / reads …

Examples:

  1. I’m walking to school today.
  2. You have to study hard.
  3. Squirrels love to eat nuts.
  4. Marilyn has to practise dancing.
  5. Each of them has to make an impromptu speech.
  6. Both Ali and Lee have a pet at home.

Paired Conjunctions (Correlative Conjunctions):
neither…nor, either … or **

  1. Neither you nor Lilian has time to learn to play the piano.
  2. Neither Keith nor I have time to watch football this week.
  3. Either your parents or Fred is picking you up at the railway station.
  4. Either Mimi or her children are going to the concert.

** For paired conjunctions, the subject closer to the verb determines whether the verb is singular or plural.

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Posted on July 13, 2009, in Sentences and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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