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Subject & Verb Agreement When Subjects Are Joined by "And"

Learn the rule of subject and verb agreement when the subjects are joined by "and" from Gotham Writers' Workshop instructor Stephanie Paterik in this Howcast grammar video.


So sometimes in a sentence you'll have 2 subjects joined by the word "and", like Michele and Pia, for example, like the book Hunger Games. So, how do you make sure in that instance that your subject and your verb agree? Let me give you an example. So, when we just have one subject, say Michele, she's singular, so we use the singular verb "likes." Michelle likes the Hunger Games.

And say we have another woman, Pia. She's also singular. Pia likes the Hunger Games, Let's say we want to simplify these 2 sentences by making them one sentence, so we're going to join Michelle and Pia by the conjunction "and." Let me show you what it looks like. Now, our sentence is Michele and Pia like the Hunger Games. Now, Michele and Pia, together, are the subject of our sentence which means we have a plural subject because we have more than one noun. So, we also need to use the plural form of the verb, which is why we've got "like" here instead of "likes".

So, it would be incorrect to say Michele and Pia likes the Hunger Games. It would be more correct, and you can probably hear it in your ear, that Michele and Pia, together, like the Hunger Games. So, that's how you make sure that you have agreement between the subject and the verb in your sentence when your subject is joined by the word "and."

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