Verifying Subject-Verb Agreement: Three Basics to Remember

Sometimes making the subject agree with the correct verb can be tricky. Use these guidelines to ensure you make the right choice.

Rule 1: Match singular subjects with singular verbs and plural subjects with plural verbs.

Example: She doesn’t work (not don’t) remotely.

Example: They don’t (not doesn’t) work remotely.

Rule 2: Use plural verbs with subjects joined by and.

Example: The manager and his assistant don’t (not doesn’t) agree on everything.

Rule 3: Match these indefinite pronouns with singular verbs: anyone, anybody, anything, each, either, every, everyone, everybody, everything, many a, neither, nobody, nothing, someone, somebody, and something.

Example: Everyone likes (not like) to be recognized for doing a good job.

Underline the subjects in the following sentences and highlight the correct verb to match. Then identify the rule that applies.

  1. Anyone who [don’t, doesn’t] file the form on time will be subject to a fine.
  2. Marketing and advertising [is/are] often considered complementary departments.
  3. Elena [laugh/laughs] so loudly that those working near her complain.
  4. Grassroots campaigners who frequently volunteer [is/are] often unpaid.
  5. The personnel director position [require/requires] knowledge of HIPAA regulations.
  6. We [was/were] looking forward to the oral presenting workshop.
  7. Both Miguel and Angela [know/knows] how to fix the jam in the copier.
  8. Although they [is/are] related, Annabelle and Zac [has/have] different last names.
  9. Every CEO [have/has] a different leadership style.
  10. Each assistant and clerk [need/needs] to complete the same training modules.
  11. Manny, who was promoted, and Avaline, who wasn’t, both [want/wants] a raise.
  12. The vlogger [post/posts] a new video every Wednesday.

Verifying Subject Exercise

Verifying Subject Exercise KEY


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