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Unformatted text preview: 434 25 Problems with Subject-Verb Agreement When Subjects and Verbs Don’t Match Understand What Subject-Verb Agreement Is In any sentence, the subject and the verb must match — or agree — in number. If the subject is singular (one person, place, or thing), then the verb must also be singular. If the subject is plural (more than one), the verb must also be plural. SINGULAR The phone rings constantly at work. [The subject, phone, is singular — just one phone — so the verb must take the singular form: rings .] PLURAL The phones ring constantly at work. [The subject, phones, is plural — more than one phone — so the verb must take the plural form: ring .] Regular verbs , verbs that follow standard English patterns, have two forms in the present tense: one that does not add an ending and one that ends in -s . First-person ( I, we ) subjects, second-person ( you ) subjects, and plural subjects (more than one person, place, or thing) have verbs with no -s ending. Third-person singular subjects ( he, she, it, and singular nouns) always have a verb that ends in -s . The chart that follows shows the differences. ■ In the examples throughout this chapter, the subject is underlined once, and the verb is underlined twice. ■ IDEA JOURNAL Write about a major disagreement you had with someone. ■ For more on regular verbs and how they differ from irregular verbs, see Chapter 26. ¡ EDITING ESSAYS Chapter 25 • Problems with Subject-Verb Agreement 435 In the Real World, Why Is It Important to Correct Subject-Verb Agreement Problems? Like fragments and run-ons, subject-verb agreement errors are signifi cant problems that can make a bad impression with instructors, employers, and others. SITUATION: Part of Monique’s work at the National Military Family Association involves helping people fi nd and apply for various kinds of assistance. Below is a letter from a woman seeking help for her son who has returned from deployment in Iraq with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Dear X: My son, Corporal Jonas Brown, were in Iraq. Now he is home, and he have many problems that is getting worse. He wake up every night scream- ing, and he cry and hold his head in his hands. Jonas, a young man who always work very hard, have not been able to hold a job. He is changed, and he need help before he hurt himself. His friends from the army talks to me and says as a veteran he are able to get free help. Please tell me what I should do. Regular Verbs, Present Tense SINGULAR FORM PLURAL FORM First person I walk. We walk. Second person You walk. You walk. Third person He/she/it walks. They walk. Percy walks. Percy and Don walk. The dog walks. The dogs walk. Language Note: Some nouns that don’t end in -s are plural, so they need plural verbs. For example, children and people don’t end in -s, but they mean more than one child or person, so they are plural....
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This note was uploaded on 01/23/2011 for the course COM 155 taught by Professor Williams during the Spring '10 term at University of Phoenix.
- Spring '10