Lesson eleven


11.2     Present tense

A verb and its subject must agree in number. To agree means that if the subject is singular, the verb must be in singular form. If the subject is plural, the verb form must be plural.


The baby cries every morning – SINGULAR

The babies cry every morning – PLURAL

Rules for subject-verb Agreement

  1. Singular subject The man drives a

Add -s or -es to the verb                             She teaches in a primary school.

He studies his map.

  1. Plural subject: The men drive

Do not add -s or -es                             They teach in primary schools.

to the verb                                            We study our maps.

  1. For I or You I hate Do not add -s or -es to the verb You like dogs.

I admire actors.

When a sentence has a compound subject i.e. two subjects joined by and, the plural form of the verb is used.


John and James work at Naivas Supermarket.

The teachers and the students respect one another a lot.

Subject-verb Agreement with be and have

The verbs be and have change their forms in special ways in order to agree with their subjects.

11.4     Exercise 11

Put appropriate Present tense verbs in the blank spaces in the following sentences.

Ensure that the subject agrees with the verb and that the sentence makes sense.

  1. The dogs their
  2. She at the
  3. They the road at the Zebra-crossing.
  4. Many blind people dogs as
  5. We dogs every
  6. Mark always his
  7. I often with
  8. Mwangi his aunt in Mombasa.
  9. He and Jane next
  10. The directors the