A verb must agree with its subject in person and number regular verbs

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Singular 1st Person SINGULAR 3rd Person PLURAL____________

I learn She learns They learn / We learn

I watch He watches They watch / We watch

I sing It sings They sing / We sing



To Be To Have To Do

I am I have I do

You are You have You do

He/she/it ___________ He/she/it __________ He/she/it __________

We are We have They do

They ___________ They have We do


To Be To Have To Do

I was I had I did

You ____________ You had You did

He/she/it was He/she/it had He/she/it did

We were We had We did

They ___________ They had We did

Practice: Circle the verb that agrees with the subject.

  1. Asia, Jamara, and Justine (is planning / are planning) the class party.

  1. Asia ( offers / offer) her house for the party.

  1. The class representatives (do / does) not want the party to be on a week day.

  1. The volunteers (has been / have been) preparing sample dishes.

  1. Everybody’s favorite so far (was / were) the vegetarian deep-dish pizza.


With Intervening Prepositional Phrases

Do not mistake a word in a prepositional phrase for the subject of a sentence. The verb must agree with the simple subject of the sentence.
Example: The color of the roses pleases us.
The simple subject color is singular

Of the roses is a prepositional phrase.

The verb pleases is singular because it agrees with the singular subject.

Example: The flowers for the bouquet are pretty.
The simple subject is _______________________________________________________
____________________________________________________ is a prepositional phrase.
The verb ____________ is plural because it agrees with the plural subject.


Directions: For the following sentences, underline the simple subject of the sentence and circle the verb form in parentheses that agrees with the subject.

  1. A report for one of my history classes (is / are) about Elizabeth Keckley, an African American who became the dressmaker for and confidante of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln.

  2. Keckley in her early years (was / were) enslaved in Virginia.

  3. A daughter of the family (was . were) fond of Keckley and brought her to St. Louis to live.

  4. Keckley ‘s talents in the art of dressmaking (was / were) so considerable that she was able to help support the family.

  5. In 1855 Keckley, with the help of loans from her customers, (was / were) able to purchase her freedom.

  6. To me, Keckley’s irrepressible longings for freedom and dignity (seems / seem) extraordinary.

  7. Keckley’s faith in herself and in her abilities (was /were) rewarded, for she moved to Washington D.C., and became the dressmaker of President Lincoln’s wife.

  8. Keckley, as a personal friend of the Lincolns, (was / were) privy to many family matters at he White House.

  9. Her opinions about the White House (was / were) published in 1868 in a book entitled Behind the Scenes.

  10. The success of this determined woman (continues / continue) to inspire people today.

Exit Pass – Rewrite the sentence so that the subject and verb agree.

A complex system of roads link the two cities.

The sounds of the traffic keeps her awake.

* Circle the simple subject

** Underline the prepositional phrase.

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