Study P2 English Tenses/SVA part 1 - Geniebook

Tenses / Subject-Verb Agreement

In this topic, we will be learning about:

  • Subject Verb agreement 
  • Tenses

What is subject-verb agreement?


  1. Singular agreement

The dog (subject: singular) chases (verb: singular) the cat.

  1. Plural agreement

The dogs (subject: plural) chase (verb: plural) the cat.


If you notice the above examples carefully, the singular verb will end with s. 

So a single subject will agree with a singular verb; and the plural subject will agree with the plural verb. 


Matching the verb with the subject:

  1. One dog (subject) is sitting (verb) on the grass.
  2. Two dogs (subject) are sitting (verb) on the grass.


In the above example, singular subject dog is with helping verb is and plural subject dogs is with helping verb are.


Question 1: 

Gerard __________ to every one of his brother’s rugby matches.


  1. go
  2. goes



2) goes


So here we see that Gerard is a singular subject. So in this case the verb would end with s. The correct answer is 2) goes.


Question 2:

Gerard and his brother __________ their grandparents after the weekly rugby matches.


  1. visit
  2. visits



1) visit


Let’s look at the subject here. Gerard and his brother is a plural subject as it is more than one. So for the plural subject, the verb will be visit. The correct answer is 1) visit.


Question 3:

Last weekend, while they __________ to their grandparents’ house, they heard a strange, high-pitched noise.


  1. was walking 
  2. were walking



2) were walking


Let’s identify the subject here. They is a plural subject. So with plural subject, we use the helping verb were. The correct answer is 2) were walking.



There is a very simple rule that you must remember for the future, when solving these types of questions - He was, they were. This will always come to your rescue when you are confused about such questions. 


Question 4:

They followed the sound to a tattered and old cardboard box. Inside it __________ a kitten.


  1. was
  2. were



1) was


We need to first find the subject. It is the subject. It refers to an old cardboard box. So that's a single box, which means it is a singular subject. Hence, the correct answer is 1) was. 


Changing From Simple Present To Simple Past

Simple Present Tense

Simple Past Tense















Decided, kicked, remembered and touched are regular verbs, which means they become simple past tense by just adding ed.

Knew, flew and lit are irregular verbs, which mean we don't add ed to convert them to simple past tense. 


Question 5:

All the club members __________ at the meeting yesterday. 


  1. was
  2. were
  3. are
  4. is 



2) were


In this sentence, All the club members is plural subject. Yesterday is past tense. Now let’s look at the options. So we have is and was, both are helping singular verbs. Are and were are helping verbs for plural subjects. Also remember was and were are past tense. Now with all of this information available, we can very easily answer this question. The correct answer is 2) were.


Question 6:

Sam __________ his teeth at 7 am today. 


  1. brushes
  2. will brush
  3. brushed
  4. was brushed 



3) brushed 


So this one should be very simple now, with all the simple rules we understood so far. Sam is a singular subject. 7 am today has already passed, which means it is in the past tense. So the correct answer is 3) brushed 


Question 7:

I already __________ a pair of chopsticks, where __________ your pair?


  1. have … are
  2. have … is
  3. had … was
  4. had … were



2) have … is


Look at the sentence carefully. I is singular subject and a pair is also singular subject. So the correct answer is 2) have … is. 

Always remember the grid  . This will help you answer such questions. 


Question 8:

I __________ some chocolate cake this morning. It was delicious.


  1. ate
  2. eat
  3. eats
  4. eating



1) ate


So we have I which is singular subject. This morning and it was is past tense. So using our learnings, the past tense of eat is ate. So the correct answer is 1) ate.


Question 9:

Jill is a very tidy person. Her desk only __________ two items, a table lamp and a book.


  1. having
  2. have
  3. has
  4. had



3) has


Jill is singular subject and is in present tense. Her desk is used for Jill (singular subject). So now with singular subject in present tense, we use has as the singular verb. So the correct answer is 3) has.


Question 10:

Jessie is very thrifty. She always __________ for the cheapest item on sale.


  1. are looking
  2. have looked
  3. looked
  4. looks



4) looks


From the first sentence, is is present tense. She is the singular subject and looks is the singular verb. So the correct answer is 4) looks. 


Question 11:

She __________ to switch off the light before she left.


  1. is remembering
  2. remember
  3. remembered
  4. remembers



3) remembered


She is singular subject and left is past tense. So with both these information, we know the correct answer is 3) remembered


Question 12:

All the girls in the school __________ to tie up their long hair. This is a school rule.


  1. needs
  2. need
  3. needing
  4. needed



2) need


All the girls is a plural subject. So the verb that would go with this plural subject will not have an s. This is also in present tense, you can find it from - this is a school rule. So the correct answer is 2) need


Question 13:

Both her brothers __________ in the army. They will be discharged next year.


  1. were
  2. are
  3. was
  4. is



2) are


Both her brothers is a plural subject. Discharged next year means it's not past tense. So the correct answer is 2) are.


Question 14:

Most toddlers __________ how to crawl before they walk.


  1. learnt
  2. learning
  3. learn
  4. was learning 



3) learn


In this sentence you see that it's true even today which means present tense. So the correct answer is 3) learn.


Summarising Our Learning From Today:

  • What is subject-verb agreement?


  • The dog (subject: singular) chases (verb: singular) the cat.
  • The dogs (subject: plural) chase (verb: plural) the cat.


  • Changing from simple present to simple past


  • Decide/decided
  • kick/kicked
  • know/knew
  • fly/flew
  • remember/remembered
  • light/lit 


Continue Learning
Prepositions Comprehension 1
Editing 1 Adjectives And Adverbs
Conjunctions 1 Adjectives 1
Tenses / Subject-Verb Agreement Pronouns
Composition Basics Pronouns and Determiners
Vocabulary Cloze Comprehension Cloze


Academic Topics
Primary 1
Primary 2
Comprehension 1
Editing 1
Adjectives And Adverbs
Conjunctions 1
Adjectives 1
Tenses / Subject-Verb Agreement
Composition Basics
Pronouns And Determiners
Vocabulary Cloze
Comprehension Cloze
+ More
+ More
Primary 3
Primary 4
Primary 5
Primary 6
Secondary 1
Secondary 2
Secondary 3
Secondary 4
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