Agreement of Nouns and Verbs

In English as in Portuguese nouns and verbs must agree with respect their to singular and plural forms. In other words a singular noun requires a singular verb, and a plural noun requires a plural verb. Mistakes in speaking and writing caused by violating this rule are very common, even to well educated native speakers of English.

Regular Verbs and Nouns, the easy ones.
Nouns that end in “s” are most often plural, and verbs that end in “s” are most often singular, some examples are:

  • The boys jump on a trampoline. (plural) The boy jumps on a trampoline. (singular)
  • The athlete runs every day. (singular) The athletes run every day. (plural)
  • John swims five days a week. (singular) John and Mary swim every Monday.(plural)

Irregular Verbs and Nouns, the hard ones, that even educated native English speakers have trouble with, and which are especially exacerbating for non native speakers. Unfortunately there is no easy way to determine plural from singular, and the only remedy is to memorize these words, or to consult your dictionary often. Some recommended sites to assist you are:

It is very important to master the skills that will allow you to ensure nouns and verbs agree in your speaking and writing. Devoting the time and effort to this endeavor will allow you to “stand head and shoulders above” your fellow students and many native English speakers.

Sobre o Autor: Bill Slayman tem 66 anos é americano e mora em Pensacola, Florida, USA. Ele atuou no exército americano e hoje está aposentado. Suas paixões são: andar de Harley Davidson, motocicletas, fotografia e qualquer coisa brasileira. Bill é um dos maiores colaboradores do EE.


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