-- The number of the noun (singular or plural) determines the form of the verb, since verbs must agree with their nouns.
Incorrect: John and Mary is a couple.
--The above example is incorrect because the noun and its verb do not agree in number. There's two nouns [John and Mary], but the singular verb form is being used [is].
Correct: John and Mary are a couple.
[Note: There may be more than one noun-verb pair in a sentence; you need to make sure that each noun-verb pair agrees in number.]
Regular and Irregular Verbs
--The way the verb agrees with the noun depends upon the type of verb, regular or irregular. There are different agreement conventions for regular verbs and agreement conventions for irregular verbs.
---To agree with a singular noun, a regular, present-tense verb should end in -s, -es, or no ending.
Incorrect: Michael walk every day, and every day a loose dog turn him into a marathon runner for a while.
Correct: Michael walks every day, and every day a loose dog turns him into a marathon runner for a while.
--To agree with a plural noun, a regular, present-tense verb does not need any special letters at the end.
Incorrect: Hey, we likes to walk, and we really do not minds the wetness," they exclaim. "It makes others think that we've just completed a long run."
Correct: Hey, we like to walk, and we really do not mind the wetness," they exclaim. "It makes others think that we've just completed a long run."
--Regular, past-tense verbs (showing action in the past) do not have to agree with their nouns; the past-tense ending (-d or -ed) overrides the need for further agreement.
Correct: Michael completed a long run. [Past]
This generally means knowing the common irregular verbs, i.e.:
Incorrect: I is one of the best grammarians in the class.
Correct: I am one of the best grammarians in the class.
--Some nouns (and pronouns) seem to be plural but function as "trick singular" nouns, so there must be correct verb agreement with "trick singular" nouns and pronouns.
Correct: Monday is the day when each department head in Marketing activates his or her voice mail; it's all-day meeting day.
Correct: Everybody who hears little Loretta sing tells her parents that she is so expressive, she would make a good mime.
You know that "each department head" and "everybody" do actually refer to more than one person, but they function as singular nouns because of their wording--they contain special words such as "each" and "every" that make them act as singular nouns.
The following words make a noun act as a singular noun:
With these words, you need to use verb forms that agree with singular nouns.
Agreement when words come between the noun and verb
Interrupting words--especially those phrases that start with "of" or "to"--are not considered part of the noun, so the verb does not have to agree with any of the words in the interruption.
Either of the options is consistent with the company's mission.
Incorrect: "I'm tired," she sadly said.
This is incorrect because "sadly" is supposed to be modifying "said", and in English, the modifier always comes after the verb. So, above, "sadly" is attached to "she" instead.
Correct: "I'm tired," she said sadly.
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