Agreement of Verb and Subject 8

Present Tense

A verb must agree in number and person with its subject.
(a) When the subject is third person singular, most English verbs end in -s or -es but there is no -s or -es on third person plural.
He goes to school.
They go to school.
Sita goes to school.
Sita and Rama go to school.
You eat a mango.
Ram eats a mango.
(i) The verb ‘be’ and its forms are exception to this rule :
He is a friend.
I am your friend.
They are friends.

(ii) Can, must, may and ought and the auxiliaries will and shall do not have ‘s’ on either singular or plural.
What the master will ask, the servant shall do.
What the masters will ask, the servants shall do.
When ‘will’ is a full verb meaning desire, it follows the rule for most other verbs and takes ‘-s’ when the subject is third person singular.
Whatever God wills, man cannot alter.
Verbs that end with ‘y and have a consonant before this ‘y\ the ‘y’ changes into T and ‘-es is added if the subject is third person singular.
Ram relies on me.
He tries his best.
He flies a kite.

(b) A singular subject is sometimes mistaken as plural e.g. when it starts with (one of, either, neither etc.). Remember that these must be taken as singular.
Either of you is wrong.
Neither of them works here.
One of the teachers teaches English.

(c) When a sentence begins with ‘there’ the verb agrees with the real subject that comes after the verb.
There comes John.
There are fifty students in my class.

(d) When the subject is plural but represents a single figure or quantity, it takes a singular verb.
A hundred kilometres is a long distance.
A thousand rupees is not much these days.
Dal and roti is a common North-Indian food.
A Thousand Leagues Under The Sea is a famous novel.

Exercise 1

Insert the correct form of the verbs in the blank spaces in the following sentences :
1. A good dictionary ……… a lot. (cost)
2. These five chairs ………. one thousand rupees. (cost)
3. Ten kilometres ……… a long distance to walk. (be)
4. Sita ……… next to my house. (live)
5. Bread and butter …….. a wholesome food. (be)
6. One of these three boys ……….. first in his class every year. (stand)
7. My kite ……….. very high in the sky. (fly)
8. They ……… gloomy. (lok)
9. All the students in this school ………. English. (learn)
10. My lawn ……… very beautiful in spring. (look)
1. costs
2. cost
3. is
4. lives
5. is
6. stands
7. flies
8. look
9. learn

Exercise 2

Insert is’ or are’ in the following sentences :
1. There ……… two boys standing there.
2. There ………. many students in the school.
3. Today, there ………. many boys missing from the class.
4. If you need some money, there ………. some in my coat pocket.
5. There ……….. sixteen players selected to tour Australia.
6. There ………. a proper balance of emotions and intelligence in him.
7. There …….. nothing to be so happy about.
8. ……….. there anybody there ?
9. There ……….. no light here.
10. There ……… complete darkness inside.
1. are
2. are
3. are
4. is
5. are
6. is
7. is
8. is
9. is
10. is

Exercise 3

Insert the correct form of the present tense in the blank spaces. The verbs are in the brackets.
1. A new house ……. a lot of money. (cost)
2. The new car …….. very fast. (run)
3. Most things ………. more than they did before. (cost)
4. This aeroplane ……… quicker than sound. (fly)
5. The lawn ……… beautiful in summer. (look)
6. These children ……… very healthy. (look)
7. One of the players ……… from my village. (come)
8. These people …….. to us in their own cars. (come)
1. costs
2. runs
3. cost
4. flies
5. looks
6. look
7. comes
8. come

Exercise 4

Rearrange the following into meaningful sentences :
1. all the pupils / English / in our school / learn
2. the owner / lives / is / in a large house / and / very rich
3. Some people / as it / travelling / them sea-sick / dislike / makes / by sea
4. to walk / a long way / is / ten miles
5. The Rose / And / Crown / High Street / situated / is / in / the
1. All the pupils in our school learn English.
2. The owner is very rich and lives in a large house.
3. Some people dislike travelling by sea as it makes them sea-sick.
4. Ten miles is a long way to walk.
5. The Rose and Crown is situated in the High Street.

Exercise 5

The following passage has not been edited. There is one error in each line. Write the incorrect word and the correction in your answer sheet. Underline your correction.
It is on small matters the people passed judgement (a) ______
upon ourselves and declared that we are (b) ______
civilized or not. The great opportunities comes rarely. (c) ______
I hoped my friend will think on it. In that (d) ______
case I thought we will be able to live more peacefully. (e) ______
(a) passed — pass
(b) declared — declare
(c) comes — come
(d) hoped — hope
(e) thought — think

Exercise 6

The following passage has not been edited. There is a word missing in each line. Find the missing word and write it in your answer sheet along with one word that comes before it and the one that comes after it.
Long ago, there a king called Midas. (a) _______
He was very rich and a daughter called (b) _______
Mary gold. Midas gold more than anything (c) ______
else in the world. When he golden light (d) _____
of the sun he wished he turn it into (e) _______
gold. Even the roses did not him because (f) _______
They not made of gold. (g) _____
(a) there was a
(b) and had a
(c) Midas loved gold
(d) he saw golden
(e) he could turn
(f) not attract him
(g) They were not

Exercise 7

Fill in the blanks choosing a suitable word for each blank from the box :

is, sits, is see, enters rouses, pass, becomes.

Remove an Englishman from his home and he (a) …….. a very different creature. Out of his home he (b) ……….. capable of sudden furies. He may (c) ………. for a quite neighbourly fellow but he (d) ………. with uneasy feelings in a railway train. A large middle-aged woman always (e) ……… my hatred. She (f) …….. shouting at the porter. You (g) ……… her accompanied with a dog which (h) ……… only one degree less offensive than her.
(a) becomes
(b) is
(c) pass
(d) sits
(e) rouses
(f) enters
(g) see
(h) is

Exercise 8
(For Practice)

1. The new aeroplanes ……. very fast.
2. The river ……… beautiful in summer.
3. The mangoes ……… fresh.
4. One of my friends ……….. in the same school as myself.
5. The owners of this factory ………. very rich and ……….. in large houses.
6. Some women ………….. travelling by car as it ……….. them sick.
7. The boys ……….. to school daily.
8. He …………. to see pictures.
9. I ……….. how he it.
10. You ………. what …….. me.

Exercise 9
(For Practice)

Insert is’ or are’ in the blank spaces.
1. There ……no restaurants in this village.
2. There …….a person inside the cabin.
3. There ……. nothing to be afraid of.
4. There ……. little hope of his agreeing to the proposal.
5. There ……a cow standing in the shade.
6. There …….. several temples in this town.
7. There …… many fine paintings.
8. There ……. some sweets in that box.
9. There ……a storm.
10. There …… much noise.

Multiple Choice Questions
Exercise 1

Fill in the blanks in the following sentences taking the best option from the brackets :
1. The quality of the apples (was/were/are/has) not good.
2. Fire and water (do/does/did/done) not agree.
3. Time and tide (wait/waits/waited/waiting) for none.
4. Justice, as well as mercy (allow/allowable/allows/allowing) it.
5. Neither the teacher nor the students (is/am/are/was) in the school.
6. Many a man (has/have/is/are) done so.
7. The news (was/were/had/has) good.
8. The committee (is/are/was/has) divided on one minor point.
9. The United States (is/are/has/have) a big navy.
10. Everyone ran as fast as he (can/could/may/will).
1. was
2. do
3. waits
4. allows
5. are
6. has
7. was
8. are
9. have
10. could

Exercise 2

The underlined words in the following sentences have not been correctly used. Replace them with one of the options given below each sentence :
Question 1.
Long ago, there has a king named Dashrath.
(a) is
(b) am
(c) are
(d) was

Question 2.
He was very rich and is a son named
(a) are
(b) was
(c) has
(d) had

Question 3.
People often fights on petty matters,
(a) fighted
(b) fighting
(c) quarrel
(d) quarrels

Question 4.
A visitor go to India long ago.
(a) come
(b) comes
(c) came
(d) coming

Question 5.
A good computer need a lot of money,
(a) cost
(b) costs
(c) needed
(d) needful

1. (d) was
2. (d) had
3. (c) quarrel
4. (c) came
5. (b) costs