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chapter 12 Subject-Verb Agreement

Inside This Chapter

Begin here to navigate through each section.

  1. Pretest
  2. Your Writing: Classifying Things or People
  3. Subject-Verb Agreement in the Present Tenses
  4. Subject-Verb Agreement with Was and Were
  5. There is, There are, and There Were
  6. Modifying Phrases or Clauses between Subject and Verb
  7. Indefinite Pronouns as Subjects
  8. Who, Which, and That as Subjects
  9. Compound Subjects
  10. Review and Practice Part 1 & Part 2
  11. Fun with Grammar
  12. Return to Your Writing
  13. Mastery Test on Subject-Verb Agreement
The fundamental rule of subject/verb agreement is that verbs must agree with, or match, their subjects. This means that singular subjects must go with singular verbs, and plural subjects must go with plural verbs. For example:

The roast chicken tastes like duck. (singular subject and verb)

The vegetables taste fresh. (plural subject and verb)

Notice in these examples how the -s on a verb marks a singular form, while the -s on a subject marks a plural form. Chapter 11 explains in more detail how the addition of -s changes the number of both nouns and verbs. Be sure you understand how final -s works before you study the more complicated subject-verb agreement challenges in Chapter 12.

Chapter 12 gives you practice with:

  • making subjects and verbs agree in the present tenses and in situations requiring a choice between was and were
  • identifying subjects that are hard to find
  • choosing between singular and plural verbs when it is difficult to tell whether the subject is singular or plural.

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