Subject Verb Agreement Rules & Exercises (English Grammar)

Language Focus: Subject-Verb-Agreement

English Level: Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced

Worksheet Downloadsubject-verb-agreement-worksheet.docx

Exercises: here

If the subject of a sentence (e.g. "I") doesn't match the verb (e.g. "are"), we say that the subject and the verb don't agree. In other words, you have a subject-verb-agreement mistake (SVA), which is a common mistake for English language learners.

I are happy. (= the subject and verb do not agree)
I am happy. (= the subject and the verb agree)

I made the above worksheet for my college students in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program. Students, you can do the practice exercises below.

A Review of Subject Verb Agreement Rules

In English, if the subject of a verb is the third-person singular (He/She/It), then the verb will have an 's' at its end. Here's an example with the verb like:

  • I like it. (First person singular)
  • You like it. (Second person singular)
  • He likes it / She likes it / It likes it. (Third person singular)
  • We like it. (First person plural)
  • They like it. (First person plural)
  • You like it. (First person plural)

This is the rule for all verbs (jump/walk/read/etc).

Exception: BE

With the BE Verb, the first person singular is changed to 'am' (present) and 'was' (past), and the third person singular becomes 'is' (present)' and 'was' (past). See the table below.

BE - presentBE - past
  • I am here. (First person singular)
  • You are here. (Second person singular)
  • He is here / She is here / It is here. (Third person singular)
  • We are here. (First person plural)
  • They are here. (Second person plural)
  • You are here. (Third person plural)
  • I was here. (First person singular)
  • You were here. (Second person singular)
  • He was here / She was here / It was here. (Third person singular)
  • We were here. (First person plural)
  • They were here. (First person plural)
  • You were here. (First person plural)

Singular & Plural?

A singular noun is just one thing. It is a single thing. Here are singular nouns in the third person:

  • A dog (is ...)
  • A candle (burns ...)
  • The boy  (has...)
  • The world  (turns...)

Uncountable nouns also use the same verbs as singular nouns. For example:

  • Love (is...)
  • Wine (tastes...)
  • The water in the lake (feels...)

A plural noun is more than one thing. These plural subjects are the same as "They".

  • Dogs (are...)
  • Two candles (burn...)
  • The boys (have...)
  • People (live...)

Two singular nouns connected by AND makes a plural subject.

  • The man and the woman live here. (The man + the woman = they)
  • The reason she came here and the reason I came here are different. (two reasons = they)

Advanced Rules with Subject Verb Agreement

Here are some hints for the advanced exercises:

1. The closest word to the verb is not always the subject.

  • The leader of the students has long hair.

The head noun of the phrase is "The leader." The prepositional phrase "of the students" modifies the subject. The full subject is The leader of the students. Is the subject singular or plural? It's singular (one), and the third person (the leader = she/he).

  • The bird in the trees was beautiful.

Similarly, the subject is the bird in the trees. This is one thing, so the verb will be 'was', not 'were'.

  • The man who bought a hundred houses is rich.

Again, the subject is 'The man (who bought a hundred houses)'. To find the subject, just look at the verb and ask yourself (what) is rich? The answer is the man (not the houses) is rich.

2. In inverted sentences, the verb agrees with the noun that comes after it.

An inverted sentence is when the subject comes after the verb. For example:

  • There is a problem. (verb = is , singular subject = a problem)
  • Here are your glasses. (verb = are, plural subject = your glasses)
  • Now comes the difficult part. (verb = comes, singular subject = the difficult part)
  • How important are the price, location, and size? (verb = are, plural subjects = price/location/size)

3. Everyone/Someone/Anyone/No one/etc are singular subjects.

Everyone refers to every single person. These subjects agree with a verb in the third-person singular form.

  • Everyone is hungry.
  • Somebody lives here.

4. Phrases in parentheses () or between commas are not part of the subject.

  • The man, in addition to his daughter, lives here. (subject = the man)
  • The man (in addition to his daughter) lives here. (subject = the man)
A lesson on subject verb agreement

The house, which has several windows, is in the countryside.

There are several other rules as well that are not listed above. Try the exercises below and if you have any questions, please leave a comment.

Subject Verb Agreement Exercises

Subject Verb Agreement - Beginner

  1. My teacher  funny. He  to tell jokes. I think his jokes  funny, and my friends .  Most of the students in my class  boys. There  not many girls in my school who  my age. It  weird. My friend  a girlfriend. My parents always  me if I have a girlfriend, by my answer  always “No.”


Subject Verb Agreement - Intermediate

  1. Everyone  problems in life. Countries also  problems, and so  the world. One of the greatest problems  the growing population. The population in some countries  huge. Both India and China  populations of over one billion people.  Both  growing, too.
  2. A few of my friends  cars. One of my friends  rich. Much of his money  from his parents. His parents  three companies that  products. I don't know what kind of products the companies  with or who their customers .


Subject Verb Agreement - Advanced

  1. A number of my friends  riding bicycles, but neither my brother nor my sister  a bicycle. At 4 o'clock, either my mother or father  coming to pick me up (in a car).
  2. The pair of shoes on the floor  mine. The shoes  made in Italy. The 300 dollars I spent on them  worth it.
  3. Finding a job where you can learn new skills  a lot of effort. I have been looking for six months. Six months  a long time. Not even one company that I applied to  responded.



  1. A lot of chicken  eaten in America. As a consequence, a lot of chickens  raised on farms. I know this because I study agriculture and economics. In fact, economics  my favourite subject. I think that it, along with agriculture,  fascinating.
  2. A photograph of two children  on the desk. Outside, there  people and a cat on the street. Sitting on the roof of a building  a big crow.
  3. How useful this website and many other free ones for studying English  ! This website (which I think is better than some others)  founded in 2011.


Find a mistake? Have a question? Leave a comment below.

-- Subject Verb Agreement Worksheet & Exercises created by Matthew Barton (copyright) of

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57 comments on “Subject Verb Agreement Rules & Exercises (English Grammar)

  1. Ali Mansoor (Posted on 12-10-2019 at 06:30) Reply

    Undoubtedly, very helpful to over come atleast insensible grammar mistakes.

  2. Christine (Posted on 3-23-2020 at 04:21) Reply

    Pay attention to the use of singular and plural

  3. NA (Posted on 5-4-2020 at 03:30) Reply

    Very useful! Apparently now this is teaching standard. My teacher show this to us

  4. mehak (Posted on 6-14-2020 at 01:38) Reply

    really a awesome exercise. I don’t have anything to say . but reality it is very much good exercise. nice exercise it is very helpful and thankful for me . I have understand very well. thankyou very very much . again thanks…………………………………………………

  5. Anonymous (Posted on 9-21-2020 at 09:57) Reply

    A lot of chickens—— are is the answer. Though I cannot understand that how can we write are with a loy.

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 9-21-2020 at 12:43) Reply

      With quantifiers that indicate portion, such as ‘a lot, a majority, some, all‘ the verb will agree with the noun that comes after the quantifier. This is why we say ‘a lot of people have’ and not ‘a lot of people has’. English is fun, isn’t it? :)

      1. Qazi Zarrar Ali (Posted on 3-6-2023 at 06:34) Reply

        Good worksheet

  6. Rishita Kabasi (Posted on 10-29-2020 at 19:19) Reply

    Your right, but I never passed any of the tests, I mean, I maked at least one mistake in the question answers.
    Yours truly,
    Rishita :)

  7. Rishita Kabasi (From anonymouse) (Posted on 10-29-2020 at 19:28) Reply

    Yes it helped to correct the mistakes, but it pointed out the mistakes, making it very easy to change the answers.
    Yours Sincerely,
    Rishita (From Anonymous)

  8. Albert M Samadan (Posted on 11-15-2020 at 16:27) Reply

    I would say that this quiz is that hard for me, because I know proper verb to be use. For me to be able to answer if it is “is” ar “are” , “w/s” or ” without s”. I looked at the noun if it is plural or singular also if it is present or past. I know to my self that identifying the write word not easy because there’s things I didn’t know.

    1. Rohit kumar (Posted on 9-15-2022 at 07:45) Reply


  9. Danica Ala (Posted on 11-15-2020 at 17:50) Reply

    A very nice site, it helps me to more learn.

  10. Shekinah Camalig (Posted on 11-16-2020 at 19:50) Reply

    This exercises are not easy but I know this will have a big help for me to enhance my skills in English.

  11. Princess C. Dava (Posted on 11-17-2020 at 17:39) Reply

    Some sentences made me confused but I know, this quiz will make me better understand all about the topic.

  12. Roxann Rea (Posted on 11-17-2020 at 17:39) Reply

    This quiz really made me think critically. There are some choices that made me think that it is correct but it was not. It test my skills in construction of sentences.

  13. Camella A. Villacruel (Posted on 11-17-2020 at 22:28) Reply

    I can say that this quiz is hard but it is also a big help for me to develop my skills in constructing sentences.

  14. Kathleen (Posted on 11-21-2020 at 04:18) Reply

    Those exercises are fun to answer. It is so useful for me to improve my grammar more.

  15. Charlie (Posted on 11-21-2020 at 21:20) Reply

    These exercises really tested my knowlegde
    about SVA.It was nice and very beneficial.I enjoyed answering it.

    1. Syed tehdil (Posted on 2-4-2022 at 04:55) Reply

      It’s was really helpful for me I’m in 8th standard and my exams starts from tomorrow

  16. Ruth A. Ramos (Posted on 4-9-2021 at 23:52) Reply

    My brain squeezed a little bit.Confusing but it is useful and challenging.I love it.

  17. Rose (Posted on 4-10-2021 at 00:05) Reply

    It was a good diagnostic test, it really helps me a lot to read and understand the sentence. Thank you and Godbless

  18. Anonymous (Posted on 5-21-2021 at 22:50) Reply

    1.The writing of good essays need/needs creativity.

  19. Himanshu Sharma (Posted on 8-26-2021 at 10:29) Reply

    I makes 2-3 mistakes in every subject verb agreement as beginner, intermidiate or Advance.
    I think, I have to be practice more.

  20. Yatharth Agrawal (Posted on 10-10-2021 at 21:19) Reply

    Loving this website so far!
    It’s great for practice, and I really like how you categorized the difficulty level for the exercises :)

  21. Jaydrian (Posted on 10-21-2021 at 02:02) Reply

    This test was great, I had an amazing experience with it and I won’t doubt it if it helps most people with their grammar

  22. Dheeraj Arya (Posted on 1-3-2022 at 07:42) Reply

    Thanks a lot. This exercise is very helpful to me . I gained knowledge from this exercise also it will help me while writing a paragraph on any topic .

  23. The one with Chinese name (Posted on 1-10-2022 at 17:48) Reply

    How comes “A lot of chicken is eaten in America” and then “a lot of chickens are raised on farms”?

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 1-10-2022 at 21:55) Reply

      The first sentence talks about meat (an uncountable noun) and the second talks about an animal (countable noun).

      1. The one with Chinese name (Posted on 1-11-2022 at 21:25) Reply

        Got it! Thank you ,sir.

  24. mashkur alam (Posted on 1-11-2022 at 21:21) Reply

    it’s really helpful for me

  25. Anjali kumari (Posted on 1-14-2022 at 00:04) Reply

    It’s a nice test . It increases my vocabulary.

  26. Pooja kumari (Posted on 2-7-2022 at 21:04) Reply

    It is really helpful but if all the rules have been described so far it becomes more better for attempting.

  27. Sanjna (Posted on 3-7-2022 at 09:33) Reply

    I like this article it is extremely awesome and also easy.

  28. Jose Martin (Posted on 9-1-2022 at 20:07) Reply

    This kind of test are the best form to learn for my skills in English.

  29. Shihab Uddin (Posted on 9-24-2022 at 07:29) Reply

    Very nice exercise. But it would be better if you show why my answer is wrong also.

  30. Frick Reen (Posted on 10-9-2022 at 08:54) Reply

    Beneficial exercise! But I have one question- Reema as well as Toby _ playing chess (love). what qill be the answer? add an explanation too, please!

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 10-9-2022 at 09:53) Reply

      Love. It is a plural subject (Reema as well as Toby = they).

  31. forough (Posted on 12-4-2022 at 15:42) Reply

    the website is very good and benefit for me.
    thanks a lot.

  32. GLADYS LOSERIAGA (Posted on 2-11-2023 at 01:12) Reply

    This was an amazing test it really helped me in my language and reading test thank you.

  33. Atlas corrigan (Posted on 2-23-2023 at 23:41) Reply

    You are beginning middle and my end!

  34. yyunielaweyh (Posted on 5-29-2023 at 14:02) Reply

    wow it really great..this grammar exercise make my grammar more better than before…

  35. CARINA (Posted on 9-17-2023 at 21:02) Reply

    A lot of chickens are eaten are eaten in America …should be the correct sentence in Number 3.

    1. CARINA (Posted on 9-17-2023 at 21:03) Reply

      A lot of chickens are eaten in America… should be the correct sentence. .

      1. mb Post author (Posted on 9-17-2023 at 21:15) Reply

        Yes, that would be correct. However, the sentence in the exercise is “A lot of chicken” (uncountable, not plural). This is why the answer is ‘is’.

        1. KOKY (Posted on 12-9-2023 at 09:54) Reply


  36. Josh (Posted on 9-28-2023 at 01:39) Reply

    it was easy every level btw how can it be founded in 2011

    it should be found in 2011

    1. mb (Posted on 9-28-2023 at 07:57) Reply

      To ‘found’ something is a verb that means to establish a business. I founded EnglishCurrent in 2011. In other words, it was founded in 2011.

  37. Padaveedan a (Posted on 10-29-2023 at 23:22) Reply

    Thank you! Expecting more such tasks.

  38. Aditi (Posted on 11-28-2023 at 18:25) Reply

    It is very helpful !

  39. Karma Aly (Posted on 12-9-2023 at 09:53) Reply


  40. Anonymous (Posted on 1-20-2024 at 04:27) Reply

    I don’t understand “the 300 dollars I spent on them was worth it.” Why should I use was instead of were?

    1. mb (Posted on 1-20-2024 at 17:36) Reply

      Hello. When talking about an amount of money, it requires a singular verb. For example, “1 million dollars is a lot of money.”

      1. Shawn Carlson (Posted on 2-21-2024 at 09:29) Reply

        Idk if it’s too late to ask, but dollars is plural right? And, we spent them in the past… So shouldn’t the answer be were?

        1. mb Post author (Posted on 2-21-2024 at 10:18) Reply

          Hello. Yes, ‘dollars’ is plural, but as an exception, when talking about an amount of money, use a singular verb. For example, “1 million dollars is a lot of money.”

  41. Mulu (Posted on 2-20-2024 at 14:30) Reply

    It is helpful

  42. Sr Maurice (Posted on 3-12-2024 at 11:16) Reply

    Wow, this is a helpful resource. I didn’t know anything about this. Thanks a lot. What I like most is the fact that I have to fill in to practice a d have it corrected. This was fun and educational.

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