Friday, October 27, 2017

Six Problem Areas - Subject/Verb Agreement

This rule comes first because understanding it can help you understand some of the others. In most sentences you follow it
naturally, but it can cause trouble. The rule is as follows: The subject and verb of each clause must agree in number.
The subject and verb of each clause must agree in number.
If you have a singular subject, you need a singular verb. If you have a pluralsubject, you need a plural verb. Singular and plural tell how many. Singular means one. Plural means more than one. Both your subject and verb must give the same signal as to how many you are talking about.
Read the following sentences and see if you can find any problems with subject/verb agreement.
1. The cat come home tired.
2. The cat comes home tired.
3. The cats come home tired.
4. The cats comes home tired.
Can you explain the problem in sentences one and four? If not, consider that with most nouns, our language forms the plural by adding an s, but with verbs, an s is added only in the third person singular.
Person/Number Chart
1st person
I come
we come
2nd person
you come
you come
3rd person*
he, she, it, this, or that comes
the cat* comes
they, these, or those come
the cats* come
*All nouns—words such as tablecat or frog—should be considered 3rd person.

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