Agreement Between Subject and Verb Help
Introduction to Subject Verb Agreement
In any list of common errors in English, lack of agreement between subject and verb ranks high. For example:
The berries in my cereal tastes so sweet.
To correct an agreement error, you need to identify both the subject and the verb. Whenever possible, start by identifying the verb. In the example sentence, the verb is tastes. Then you can ask, what tastes? The berries tastes. Oops! You just found the error. Berries is a plural subject and the verb must agree with it. Decide which is correct:
- Berries tastes.
- Berries taste.
Of course it is the latter.
In addition, just ahead, you will discover how the times (tenses) of verbs must be consistent and logical as verbs follow one another. What's wrong with the following?
Yesterday, I reprimanded the children when they run into the street.
Obviously, yesterday and reprimanded indicate past time, but run is in the present time. Change run to the past time—ran:
Yesterday, I reprimanded the children when they ran into the street.
Subject Verb Agreement Practice and Answers
In the following paragraphs, check the tenses of all the verbs for consistency of time. Find the one verb in each paragraph that needs to be corrected.
Children are not always happy to play alone. Does that mean that parents have to devote all their time to playing with their children? No, it didn't. Certain techniques work to encourage children to play on their own.
In 1999, The Academy of Pediatrics provided some guidelines for children and TV. They suggest that children under two years old should not watch TV. They advised that even older children should not watch TV before bedtime. Instead, they said that parents should read to children, or children might read to themselves and with their parents.
1. No, it doesn't. 2. They suggested…
Verb Tense Practice and Answers
In each of the following sentences, find the verb (action word). Label each verb present, past, or future. The first one is done for you.
- A consumer quickly learns that "living green" is not easy.
- I will avoid plastic packaging as much as possible. __________
- My family turned off the lights all over the house. __________
- Toby decided to cycle to work. __________
- Marilyn's child uses much less hand towels than my child does. __________
- He eats lunch at the same time every day. __________
- Our three children will play together tomorrow. __________
- They ate lunch in the park. __________
- I collected shells on the beach. __________
- I keep a scrapbook for each child. __________
- You will ask yourself some important questions before the election. __________
- The law student completed his final exam. __________
- David played the guitar in the band Neville Blues. __________
- Aidan will start school next year. __________
- The car stops at every yellow light. __________
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