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Plural Subject-Verb Agreement

Plural Subject-Verb Agreement                                                       

Common Core Language Standard 1

We all know that verbs have to match their subjects. One way that they have to match is in number. Singular has to match singular and plural must match plural. What gets confusing is when other words seem to be subjects, but are not. Knowing how to identify sentence subjects is essential.

Today’s grammar and usage lesson is on plural subject-verb agreement. A plural subject agrees with (matches) a plural verb and involves more than one person, place, or thing. In present tense the plural nouns do not end in s. For example, we say “Birds chirp,” not “Birds chirps.”

Now let’s read the grammar and usage lesson and study the examples.

Following are the key rules of plural subject-verb agreement:

  • Some words seem to be singular, but are actually plural because they each have two parts: scissors, tweezers, pants, and shears. Example: Those scissors are sharp.
  • Sports teams not ending in s are plural and require plural verbs. Example: The Orlando Magic have been looking for a point guard.
  • A compound subject joined by and is plural and takes a plural verb. Example: Bob and Pam are friends.
  • These indefinite pronouns take plural verbs: both, few, many, others, and several. Example: Both seem wonderful.

Now circle or highlight what is right and revise what is wrong according to grammar and usage lesson.

Practice: We have plenty of supplies for the project. Scissors are required to cut out the sports pictures from magazines. The Miami Heat is the students’ favorite team. There is plenty of their pictures. Most of the students finish quickly, but a few needs more time. Bob and Joe always ask for more time.

Pennington Publishing's Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 Programs

Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 Programs

Let’s check the Practice Answers.

Grammar and Usage Practice Answers: We have plenty of supplies for the project. Scissors are required to cut out the sports pictures from magazines. The Miami Heat is the students’ favorite team. There are plenty of their pictures. Most of the students finish quickly, but a few need more time. Bob and Joe always ask for more time.

Now let’s apply what we have learned. 

Writing Application: Write two of your own sentences: the first with a compound subject and the second with an indefinite plural pronoun subject.

This writing opener is part of a comprehensive language conventions lesson from the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand)  Grades 4‒8 programs. Complete descriptions, instructional scopes and sequences, introductory video, previews, and two-week test drives of the grade-level teacher guides and student workbooks are available here.

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