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General English Subject-Verb Agreement Rules for SSC CGL CPO UPSC and IBPS

Subject-Verb Agreement :  The use of verb according to number of Subject and person in any sentence is called Subject-Verb Agreement.
Ø If subject is Singular then we use singular verb .
Ø If Subject is plural then we use plural verb.
It’s very Important to understand the singular and plural subject , as well as to understand singular and plural verb.

Singular Subjects
Singular Verbs
I, You , He , She , It , Ram , Priya , The Girls , The Boy
Am, Is, Was , Has, Does, Writes, Drinks, Read

Plural Subjects
Plural Verbs
We, You, they , The Girls , Boys
Are, Were, Have, Do, Write, Drink




So here we have some Rules to Easily understand the Subject-Verb Agreement and find common errors in sentences for Competitive Exams :

Rule No. 1 : 
Ø If the subject is singular then verb will be singular and vice versa.

Ex.  Mohan was always late   (Right)
       Mohan were always late (Wrong)

Rule No. 2 :
Ø ‘I’ used as a singular subject but in these type sentences we use both singular and plural verbs.
Ex. : I am a teacher .
I was a doctor .
I have a car.
Rule No. 3 :  
Ø In case of Needn’t and Daren’t with singular and plural subjects will use plural form.

Ex.  She needn’t go there. (Right)
She needsn’t go there. (Wrong)
He daren’t oppose his father. (Right)
He daresn’t oppose his father. (Wrong)

Note : But as a main verb Dare/Need used as singular or plural

Ex.  He dares to face the difficulties. (Right)
He dare to face the difficulties. (Wrong)
She needs a book. (Right)
She need a book. (Wrong)



Rule No. 4 : Don’t use “to” after daren’t and needn’t

Ex. He daren’t to come here. (Wrong)
He daren’t come here. (Right)
You needn’t to go there. (Wrong)
You needn’t go there. (Right)

Rule No. 5 :  Suppositional Sentences , the sentences start with if, as though, if only, suppose, I wish , We wish , He wishes , she wishes … etc always use plural verb “were”.

Ex. I wish Shipra were my wife. (Right)
I wish Shipra was my Wife. (Wrong)
If he were my boss , he would suspend me. (Right)
If he was my boss , he would suspend me. (Wrong)

“Lazy People are always looking for something not to do.”

Practice Set :
1.   The lions of the east ……..an interesting book.   (is/are)
2.   Apple pie and custard ……..my favourite dish. (is/are)
3.   Sachin as well as Ankit ……..Guilty. (was/were)
4.   I wish she……. My best friend. (was/were)
5.   Raman talks to me as if he……… the general manger of Apple company. (was/were)



Rule No. 6 : If we use little , a little , the little , much in any sentence then singular verb will be used.

Example :
  • Much has been done. (Right)
  • Much have been done (Wrong)
  • Little is known about this man. (Right)
  • Little are known about this man.(Wrong)

Rule No. 7 : “There” is used as a Introductory Subject. The verb used in these sentences is depends on the number of noun or pronoun and person.

Ex.  There is a pen on the table. (Right)
There are five pens on the table (Right)
There is nothing to do. (Right)

Note : if we use pair words just after “There”  then we will always use singular verb.

Ex. There is rice and curry for dinner. (Right)
There are rice and curry for dinner. (Wrong)
There is bread and butter for breakfast. (Right)
There are bread and butter for breakfast. (Wrong)

Rule No. 8 : Many /A great many/ A good many used for uncountable things and here we will use plural verb.

Ex. Many students have passed. (Right)
Many students has passed. (Wrong)
Many of the criminals were arrested. (Right)

Many of the criminals was arrested. (Wrong)

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