I am happy. You are happy. He is happy! The subjects and verbs agree. But what about when the subject is a more complicated noun? Dan explains 3 ways to deal with difficult subject-verb agreement.

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…and I say tea is better than coffee! Oh we just can’t agree. But agreement is important, especially between subjects and verbs. Here are 3 points to help you make sure that your subjects and verbs always agree. Hit it!

I am happy. You are happy. He is happy. The verb changes because the noun changes. However, many learners still make many mistakes because of a difficult noun or noun phrase so here are some of the most common difficult ones. Go!

1: When singular and plural are the same!

‘The species is on the brink of extinction.’
‘The species are on the brink of extinction.’

Species is a noun whose singular and plural verb forms are exactly the same. So be careful which one you mean when you speak. Are you talking singular or plural? Here are some other examples.

2: Nouns with no plural!

‘The news about the king’s death has been reported around the world.’

Now, news is a noun which despite having an ‘s’, has no plural form. This is because it is uncountable, and like all uncountable nouns, it uses a singular verb. Here are some more examples.

3: Nouns with no singular!

‘The police are coming! The police are coming!’

Police is a noun which describes a collection of police officers. This means it has no singular form and always uses a plural verb. Here are some more examples.

And don’t forget objects which come in pairs like glasses and trousers

This also happens when we make an adjective into a group noun using THE.

‘The British are coming! The British are coming!’

Did you get it? Of course you got it? Now for more information please log on to bbclearningenglish.com. I’ve been Dan, you’ve been fantastic. Have a great time. Hello? What do you mean Superman is better than Batman? You don’t know anything!

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