Definition of Verb Agreement

When it comes to proper grammar, one of the most important aspects is verb agreement. It may seem like a small detail, but using the correct form of a verb is crucial to conveying a clear and accurate message. Verb agreement refers to the proper matching of a verb with its subject, in terms of tense and number.


The tense of a verb refers to the time at which the action takes place. There are three primary tenses in English: past, present, and future. Depending on the subject of the sentence, the verb must match the appropriate tense. For example:

– Present tense: She walks her dog every morning.

– Past tense: She walked her dog yesterday.

– Future tense: She will walk her dog tomorrow.


The number of a verb refers to whether it is singular or plural. Again, the verb must match the subject of the sentence. For example:

– Singular subject: He runs in the park every day.

– Plural subject: They run in the park every day.

It is important to note that when the subject is a collective noun (such as team, family, or group), the verb can be either singular or plural depending on the intended meaning. For example:

– Singular verb: The team is playing well this season.

– Plural verb: The team are all wearing their new uniforms.

Agreement in complex sentences

In more complex sentences, it can be more difficult to ensure proper verb agreement. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

– When using compound subjects (two or more subjects joined by `and`), the verb must be plural. For example: John and Mary are going to the movies.

– When using compound predicates (two or more verbs with the same subject), the subject only needs to appear once and the verbs must agree in tense. For example: She danced and sang at the concert.

– When using relative clauses (such as who, whom, which, that), the verb must agree with the subject of the main clause. For example: The cat, who is usually friendly, scratched me.

In conclusion, proper verb agreement is essential for clear communication in written and spoken language. By understanding and applying the rules of tense and number agreement, you can ensure that your writing is accurate and effective. As a professional, I always make sure to check for proper verb agreement in any piece of content to ensure its highest quality.