Agreement - Regular Verbs

To agree with a singular noun, a regular, present-tense verb should end in 's' or 'es', or have no special ending.

    • Michael walks every day, and every day a loose dog turns him into a marathon runner.
    • The dog catcher regularly catches an average of 10 loose dogs per day, of which at least five add to the odor that pervades the back of the truck.
    • "Hey, I don't mind that odor," the dog catcher exclaims. "To me, it's the sweet smell of success."

To agree with a plural noun, a regular, present-tense verb does not need any special ending.

    • Michael and Melissa leisurely walk the streets of Paris every morning, and every day the street-cleaning trucks seem to direct their spray toward them a bit more aggressively.
    • You could say that they regularly catch a shower, which adds to their exhilaration and joie de vivre.
    • "Hey, we like to walk, and we really do not mind the wetness," they exclaim. "It makes others think that we've just completed a long run."

Regular, past-tense verbs do not have to agree with their nouns; the past-tense ending ('d' or 'ed') overrides the need for further agreement.

    • Michael completed a long run.
    • Michael and Melissa completed a long run.

Exercise 1: Noun-Verb Agreement

Questions or feedback about ESC's Online Writing Center? Contact us at Learning.Support@esc.edu.

Take the Next Step

Ready to advance your education and career? There’s no time like the present. Apply now, or learn more about SUNY Empire at one of our information sessions.