Subject – Verb Agreement Subject EXAMPLE: The subject of the sentence is who or what the sentence is about. The boy watches the movie. Subject – The sentence is about the boy. Verb EXAMPLE: Verbs are action words (throw) or state of being words (is). The verb must agree with its subject in number. The boy watches the movie. Verb – watches is singular. Subject – the sentence is about the boy. Boy is singular. EXAMPLES: The boy watches the movie. singular subject The boys watch the movie. plural subject plural verb The rain falls at a steady rate. singular subject singular verb singular verb The drops of rain fall at a steady rate. plural subject plural verb Subjects joined by and take a plural verb Plants, flowers, and soil were interesting to George Washington Carver. Rain and sleet were expected to fall Saturday night. A compound subject that names only one person or thing takes a singular verb. A famous professor and scientist at Tuskegee Institute was George Washington Carver. The inventor and patriot was one of America’s most influential men. Singular subjects joined by or or nor take a singular verb. Neither his mother nor his father was alive to raise George. When a singular subject and a plural subject are joined by or or nor, the verb agrees with the subject nearer the verb. Neither his mother nor his brothers were alive to raise George. A collective noun takes a singular verb when the noun refers to the group as a unit. The committee is in charge of the reception. A collective noun takes a plural verb when the noun refers to the individual parts or members of the group. The committee have been unable to decide where to hold the event. Practice: Re-write each sentence using the correct verb. Underline the subject of each sentence. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The rapper KRS-One (is, are) one of my favorite performers. In fact, his picture (is, are) hanging on my room. As you can see, KRS’s face (reflects, reflect) his positive attitude. KRS (encourages, encourage) people to think for themselves. Many performers (believes, believe) in using rap music to improve people’s lives and to end violence. Practice: Re-write each sentence using the correct verb. Underline the subject of each sentence. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The launch of the space shuttle (attracts, attract) the interest of many people throughout the world. The thermos bottle in the picnic basket (is, are) filled with apple juice. My favorite collection of poems (is, are) Where the Sidewalk Ends. People in some states (observes, observe) the fourth Friday in September as Native American Day. The starving children of the world (needs, need) food and medicine. Practice: Re-write each sentence using the correct verb. Underline the subject of each sentence. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. All of my friends (has, have) had the chicken pox. Everyone at the party (likes, like) the hummus dip. Both of Fred’s brothers (celebrates, celebrate) their birthday in June. Some of my baseball cards (is, are) valuable. Several of those colors (do, does) not appeal to me. Practice: Re-write each sentence using the correct verb. Underline the subject of each sentence. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The cucumbers in my garden (grows, grow) very quickly. Many of Mrs. Smith’s students (speaks, speak) fluent Spanish. Koalas in the wild and in captivity (eats, eat) very quickly. Nobody in the beginning painting classes (has, have) displayed their work in the annual art show. The principal of each high school (awards, award) certificates to honor students.