Subject Verb Agreement Misconceptions

See the pattern? For these five words, prepositionderphrase is the determining factor. If the expression refers to a plural idea, the verb is plural. If the expression refers to a singular idea, the verb is singular. The subject of a sentence must always correspond to the verb that describes its action. This helps your reader understand who or what is doing something and makes your writing easier to read. Of course, in real life, it can be difficult to make sure that a verb matches its subject. Let`s look at some examples of students` writing. Here`s a mnemonic device (memory aid) that can help you: “Just a -s at a time.” Most plural subjects in English end in -s; These are the ones who don`t need -s on the verb. On the other hand, most individual materials do not end in -s; These are the ones who need a -s on the verb. So most of the time, you`ll only have one -s at a time. (Obviously, this is not infallible: there are particular themes like “grass” and plural subjects such as “humans,” but the rule largely applies.) Most unspecified pronouns are treated as specific topics. However, some are still treated as plural, as they cover several items or amounts.

These nouns describe abstract concepts or masses that cannot be counted (e.B. research, electricity, water and vegetation). You take a singular verb. First, identify the subject (the person or thing negotiating the action) and the verb (the action word) in a sentence. If the subject is singular, the verb that describes its action should be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb should be plural. Compared to many other languages, English often does not require verb to correspond personally and in number to the subject. But there is an important exception: in each sentence in the form of the present (and in some cases in the past – see below), the verb always takes a definitive end when the subject is third person and singular. What does that mean? Essentially, each theme enters one of the six categories, depending on whether it is singular or plural, and first, second or third person: Note that identifying the real subject can be difficult if you use these phrases in a long sentence, which can be confusing for your readers, so be careful when you start a sentence this way.