What is Subject-Verb Agreement?

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Subject-Verb Agreement simply means that the subject and verb in a sentence need to "agree." To do this, a singular subject needs a singular verb, and a plural subject needs a plural verb.

For example:

  1. I need to earn $20/hour to pay my bills.
  2. My cousin needs to earn only $11/hour to pay his bills.*
  3. We need to earn about $50,000/year to support our family.

*Sentence #2 is the most problematic example for English language learners because 3rd person singular subjects require -s (or -es) on simple present tense verbs in order to make them agree.

3rd Person Singular -s (-es)




1st person

I walk to the store.

We walk to the store.

2nd person

You walk to the store.

You walk to the store.

3rd person

He/she/it walks to the store.

They walk to the store.

Add -s (or -es) to simple present tense verbs when the subject is 3rd person singular.

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