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Peng from China: 'I want to design computer games but I don't know English well'

Subject-verb agreement
This week, we hear the first of two programmes about subject-verb agreement. In the challenge, we ask Peng Jin from China to settle a dispute between two students who can't agree on their English homework.


Listen to the programme!

Find out more

Singular subjects take singular verbs, but plural or multiple subjects take plural verbs, even when they are separated from their subjects. Subjects with each and every usually take a singular verb.

(Type of subject) subject verb  
(singular) My father lives in Beijing.
(uncountable) Chinese food is delicious.
(single -ing verb) Living in Beijing costs a lot of money.
(plural countable) My brothers live in Tokyo.
(plural countable) Chinese pancakes are delicious.
(2 –ing verbs) Reading and writing are important skills.
(every) Every resident has to pay tax.
(each) Each address is listed in a special register.


Download Catherine's grammar explanation and table (pdf - 35 K)

Download this programme (mp3 - 1.8 MB)
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Take the challenge
Now it's your turn to practise subject-verb agreement. Go to our quiz page on this subject here.

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Catherine and William

Learn It! - Subject-verb agreement
Avalon School of English*

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Next week, we'll continue our look at subject-verb agreement with a focus on confusing words...

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