Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-Verb Agreement

The rules of Subject-verb agreement have been described here, it is very important in the area of English grammar that helps to construct a sentence.


In English grammar, the subject and verb in a sentence play a great role in delivering a proper meaning of a sentence. It is very important in a sentence that the verb and subject agree with each other’s number and tense. In the case of a sentence that contains a singular subject it must contain a singular verb. In the case of a sentence containing a plural verb, it must contain a plural subject. The relationship between subject and verbs contains huge importance in English grammar and it helps to construct a proper sentence.    

Different types of rules of Subject-Verb Agreement in English grammar 

The key rules are mentioned below one by one:

The first key rule is that a singular subject must contain a singular verb, it can be explained with the help of an example. Example: “The train runs from Habra to Sealdah”, here the singular subject is “The train” and the singular verb is “runs”.

The second key rule is a sentence must contain plural verbs when there the subject is plural, it can be explained with the help of an example. One example of a plural verb and plural subject is: “The trains run from Sealdah to Bongaon”, here the plural subject is “The Trains” and the verb is also plural. 

The third key role of Subject-verb agreement is that the “compound subjects”, which are connected with “and” require “plural verbs”. It can be explained with the help of an example: “Cauliflower and Pizza taste great together”, here “Cauliflower” and “Pizza” are joined together in a sentence with help of a compound “and” for creating the compound subject.

The fourth key rule of subject-verb agreement is in a compound sentence subjects connected with “or” or “nor” can either contain a plural verb or singular verb. It can be explained with the help of two examples: the use of the singular verb “Either Jeff or Jane knows the answer” and the use of the plural verb “Either Jeff or his sisters know the answer”. 

The fifth key rule is that the collective nouns can be in the form of plural or singular such as “store”, “committee”, “government”, “state”, “city”, “company”, “team” will contain the singular verbs. Therefore, “city officials”, “company leaders”, “team members” will contain plural verbs in a particular sentence.    

Examples of Subject-Verb Agreement in English 

The agreement between subject and verb can be explained with the help of some examples. 

Example of singular verb and singular subject in a sentence construction: “Michigan has four distinct seasons.” Here the subject “Michigan” is singular and the verb “has” is also singular. 

Example of the plural verb with the plural subject: “The hyenas feed on what the lions leave behind”. Here the subject “the hyenas” is in the plural form and the verb “feed” is also in plural form. 

Example of the collective noun that contains a singular verb with a singular subject: “The audience treats the host like a deity”. Here the collective noun “the audience” is a singular subject that contains the singular verb “treats”.  

Example of a relative pronoun “who” is continuing a plural meaning: “Lyle is one of the guys who play cricket with me on Sundays”. Here the subject “Lyle” is addressed to a plural group with the help of a relative pronoun “who”.


Subject-verb agreement is necessary to construct a sentence appropriately. Verbs always correspond with the tense and number of the subject in a sentence. When to use a singular or a plural verb should be well known in order to write and converse in proper English. One must remember the rules not to get confused with the difference in subjects and verbs.

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