Subject-Verb Agreement Use the singular form of a verb with a singular subject and the plural form of a verb with a plural subject. SINGULAR: PLURAL: She watches. They watch. The watch runs fast. The watches run fast. The team is playing. The teams are playing. The plan has changed. The plans have changed. He was especially kind. They were especially kind. Notice that the –s or –es ending makes nouns plural but makes present-tense verbs singular. Making subjects and verbs agree is usually easy in short sentences, but it can be more difficult in longer, more complicated sentences. Be careful to identify the subjects so that your verbs agree with correct words: Incorrect: Felix’s attention to time, efficiency, and savings deserve favorable consideration. Correct: Felix’s attention [subject] to time, efficiency and savings deserves favorable consideration. Incorrect: My supervisor’s first priority in cutting departmental expenses are reducing overtime and sick pay. Correct: My supervisor’s first priority [subject] in cutting departmental expenses is reducing overtime and sick pay. Source: The Short Handbook For Writers Instructor’s Annotated Edition Gerald J. Schiffhorst John F. Schell McGraw-Hill, Inc. In a sentence beginning with there, the subject follows the verb: Correct: There is an extra pair [subject] of shoes in the hall closet. Correct: There are no good concerts [subject] at the Sports Stadium anymore. Forms of the verb to be agree with the subject of the sentence, no the complement, even when the subject is plural and the complement is singular, or vice versa: Correct: Unsafe working conditions [subject] were the primary cause [complement] of the wildcat strike. Correct: Earning extra money is her only reason for babysitting. Source: The Short Handbook For Writers Instructor’s Annotated Edition Gerald J. Schiffhorst John F. Schell McGraw-Hill, Inc.