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Subject-Verb Agreement

Third Person Verbal Suffixes

Simon wakes up early
 

 

 

Third Person Singular vs. Other Person Agreement

THIRD PERSON SINGULAR

Verb agreement for he, she, it is marked with a final -s in present tense. See irregular forms below.

REGULAR

Simon wakes up early.

She wakes up early.

It wakes up early.  (A dog; gender unknown) 

IRREGULAR – HAVE, GO, DO, BE

Simon has a business.  HAVE

Simon goes to work.   GO

Simon does a lot of work.    DO

Simon is a software designer.   BE

OTHERS

Verb agreement for — I, You, They, We — is not marked in the present nonprogressive tense.  The base form of the verb is used.

REGULAR

I / We wake up early.

You wake up early.

They wake up early.

IRREGULAR – HAVE, GO, DO, BE

I / You / They have a business.

I / You / They go to work.

I / You / They do a lot of work.

I am an architect.   We / You / They are architects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spelling Patterns

Final S

 

 

 

Third Person — Suffixes

FINAL CONSONANT SOUND FINAL SILIBANT SOUND FINAL VOWEL SOUND FINAL C+ Y
CONSONANT ⇒ -S -S, -Z, -SH, -CH, -X  ⇒ -ES  A, E, I, U ⇒ -S CONSONANT + Y: ⇒  -IES

answers /ˈænsərz/

kisses  /kɪs-ɪz/

skis  /skiz/

flies  /flaɪz/

begins   /bɪˈgɪnz/

buzzes  /bʌz-ɪz/

knows  /noʊz/

tries /traɪz/

speaks    /spiks/

cashes  /kæʃ-ɪz/

sees   /siz/

carries /ˈkæriz/

visits       /ˈvɪzɪts/

catches  /kætʃ-ɪz/ 

lies    /laɪz/

applies /əˈplaɪz/

meets   /mits/

fax    /fæks-ɪz/

 

 

CONSONANT + E ⇒ -S   O ⇒ -OES VOWEL + Y ⇒ -S

likes /laɪks/

 

goes  /goʊz/

buys  /baɪz/

loves   /lʌvz/

 

does  /dʌz/

pays  /peɪz/

makes /meɪks/

 

torpedoes

employs /ɛmˈplɔɪz/

judges /ˈdʒʌdʒ-ɪz/
 

 

forgoes / foregoes

says   /sɛz/

forgo (v.) — abstain, do without; forego (v.) — go before, precede

sibilant –  A sibilant is a type of fricative consonant that is made by directing air between the tip of the tongue and the back edge of the upper-two front teeth: s /s/, z /z/, sh /ʃ/ , zh /ʒ/ (liege)

IPA Pronunciation Key 

 

 

 

Third Person — Different Word Form

BE HAVE

is

has

The words is and have become a different word form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multiple Noun Agreement

Personal nouns in a series

 

 

 

Subject – verb agreement with a series of nouns

SINGULAR PERSONAL NOUN
OR

sam danceSam dances on stage every weekend.

 

 

Sam or Ted dances on stage. (I can't remember which.)

MULTIPLE PERSONAL NOUNS
AND

several dancersSam, Mary, Ted and Sarah dance on stage.

Sam, Mary, Ted and  a Sarah are on stage.

 

series (n.) – one item occurs after the other, in line
stage (n.) – the raised area in a theatre which actors or singers stand on when they perform

 

 

 

 

There agreement with a series of nouns

CLOSEST ITEM IS SINGULAR

There does not have a particular subject-verb agreement.  The agreement is with the closest noun.

There is a man, a woman, and some children. (En-US)

There are a man, a woman and some children(En-Br)

CLOSEST ITEM IS PLURAL

There agreement differs with dialectal usage.  In Br-English, plural agreement is used if the closest noun is plural or if there are multiple items in a series.  In US English, plural agreement is with the closest noun.

There are some children, a man, and a woman on stage.(En-US)

There are some children, a man, and a woman on stage.

 

Also agreement with There – Existence

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Simon's Doughnut Habit

Simon
 

 

Read the Context

Simon [eat] a little breakfast at 6 a.m. every morning. Afterwards, he [pass] by a doughnut shop on the way to work. Walking [tax] his energy, so he [stop] for a doughnut.

He [talk] for a while with the woman who sells doughnuts. The young woman [blush] when he compliments her. Everyday, Simon [discover] new things to talk about with her. Perhaps, Simon [buys] a doughnut for more than one reason. Simon [put] a couple napkins in his bag and then [leave]. Often, he [imagine] asking her out. But then his courage [fail], and he [continue] walking to work.

Simon is a graphic artist, and he [sketch] designs on his computer.  He often [touch] his computer screen and [get] it sticky. Sometimes, he [press] a key on the keyboard and it [stick] and repeats the letter. He often [push] too hard on the keys.

Simon is a bit messy, especially when he [mix] sugar into his coffee cup on his desk and [spill]. He [try] not to get sugar onto his keyboard. He frequently [destroy] equipment by getting food on or in it. Sometimes, he [carry] a bag of apples into his office, and he [munch] on them while working.

Fortunately, Simon [employ] a service to clean his office every week. Simon accidentally [bury] things under papers, magazines and books, which need organizing. The office is so messy that sometimes the cleaner [pry] open the door to get inside .

Simon [do] a few things to keep in shape. Simon [have] a membership to a gym. He also [play] tennis at a sports club.

Simon has modest desires. He [pray] for good health, an endless supply of doughnuts and a date with the pretty, young woman in the doughnut shop.

blush (v.) — become red in the face, embarrassed

bury (v.) — puts under other things; puts underground

compliment (v.) — say something nice or flattering to someone; admire

discover (v.) — to find something that you did not know about before 

employ (v.) — hire, arrange for a service

energy (n.) — having the ability to do an activity, having power

fail (v.) — not do what someone expects to do

graphic (adj.) — related to drawing, printing, and designing images

imagine (v.) — think about with images in the mind

keyboard (n.) — the part of the computer with letter, number and symbol keys

keep in shape (expression)— stay in strong physical condition

pry openmodest (adj.) — not very great, big, or expensive

munch (v.) — eat noisily; He munched on an apple.

napkin (n.) — small soft paper cloth for hands; serviette

organize (v.) — put in order, make neat

pry (v.) — force open with a tool, a lever

screen (n.) — the monitor of the computer.

sketch (n.) — draw something quickly without a lot of detail; basic lines

sticky (adj.) — have a feeling like glue; He had sticky fingers after eating honey.

supply (n.) — an amount of something available for use

tax (v.) — to tire someone, make a person feel tired; or to charge someone for government services, demand tax

weekly (adv.) — happens once a week; every week,

 

 

 

 

Add third person agreement to each sentence.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" buttons. 

     

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