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Subject - Verb Agreement

In this article, we will be learning about subject-verb agreement. In subject-verb agreement, the subject of a sentence needs to agree with the verb. So, we should use a singular verb with a singular noun and a plural verb with a plural noun. Let's understand this better with the help of a few examples below.

Examples:

  1. Singular Subject + Singular Verb

Each of the students is responsible for their own duties.

 

  1. Plural Subject + Plural Verb

All the students are responsible for their own duties.

 

  1. Singular Subject + Singular Verb 

That teacher has all the answers.

 

  1. Plural Subject + Plural Verb

Some teachers have all the answers.

 

  1. Singular Subject + Singular Verb

She does her homework daily.

 

  1. Plural Subject + Plural Verb

They do their homework daily.

 

  1. Singular Subject + Singular Verb

He goes to the shop.

 

  1. Plural Subject + Plural Verb

They go to the shop.

 

Practice Questions

Question:

All the students __________ into the examination hall.

  1. go
  2. goes
  3. do
  4. does

Answer:

The correct answer to this question is option (1) - "go". As we are talking about all of the students here, we will use plural verbs here.

 

Question:

Many of his suggestions in class __________ been taken into consideration.

  1. has
  2. have
  3. do
  4. does

Answer:

The correct answer to this question is option (2) - "have". As we are talking about "many of his suggestions in class", we will use plural verbs here.

 

Question:

__________ the topic for the assignment been released yet?

  1. Was
  2. Were
  3. Has
  4. Have

Answer: 

The correct answer to this question is option (1) - “has”. As the subject here is singular, options (2) and (4) are eliminated as those are plural verbs. Now, we need to find the correct answer between options (1) and (3). The clue here in this question is “yet”. The clue in this question is 'yet,' which indicates uncertainty about whether the topic has been released or not. If we use “was” instead of the blank, the grammatically correct sentence will be “Was the topic for the assignment released?”. So, we will be required to remove “been” and “yet” from the sentence to use “was”. So, the correct answer to this question is “has”.

Commonly Confused Subject-Verb Agreement

Usually, the different forms of the verbs "to be", "do", and "go" can be confusing. 

Here is a simple way to remember some of the more commonly confused errors students tend to make:

Subject

Verb (Simple Present Tense)

Verb (Simple Past Tense)

Singular Subjects:

 

He/ She/ A boy/ An apple/ Each/ One

Singular Verbs:

  1. Is
  2. Has
  3. Does
  4. Goes

Singular Verbs:

  1. Was
  2. Had
  3. Did
  4. Went

Plural Subjects:

 

They/ Many students/ The apples/ All

Plural Verbs:

  1. Are
  2. Have
  3. Do
  4. Go

Plural Verbs:

  1. Were
  2. Had
  3. Did
  4. Went

Practice Questions

Question:

They __________ playing their online game now as we speak. 

  1. Is
  2. Are
  3. Was
  4. Were

Answer:

The correct answer to this question is option (2) - “are”. “As we speak,” tells you that the event is happening at the same time. Usually, people use this phrase when they want to emphasize that something is happening right now.

 

Question:

__________ dogs really chase cats?

  1. Do
  2. Does
  3. Was
  4. Were

Answer: 

As the subject (dogs) are plural here, the correct answer to this question is option (1) - “do”.

Test Your Concepts

Answer the following questions based on the concepts we’ve covered in this article. If you get stuck, revisit the relevant section to revise the concepts.

Question:

__________they allowed to leave the classroom yesterday?

  1. Is
  2. Are
  3. Was
  4. Were

 

Question:

This morning, each of them __________ given a dollar to buy an item at the grocery store.

  1. Is
  2. Are
  3. Was
  4. Were

 

Question: 

Parents __________ their best to raise their children well.

  1. Has
  2. Have
  3. Do
  4. Does
Continue Learning
Comprehension Comprehension Questions
Vocabulary MCQ Vocabulary Cloze
Connectors Adverbs
Adjectives Tenses
Verb Forms & Perfect Tenses Simple Continuous Tenses
Words In Games Quantifiers
Editing Synthesis and Transformation
Question Tags & Tenses Composition Writing
Verb Forms Subject - Verb Agreement
Resources - Academic Topics
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