Lesson Thirty

Singular Nouns and Verbs


Here’s a little pretest for you. If you do well on it, you might not need to study this lesson.

By now, you probably know that there is a difference between singular nouns and plural nouns, singular verbs and plural verbs. It’s important to understand these differences! If you don’t, your English will always sound wrong.

In this lesson, you will practice identifying singular nouns and verbs.

Singular Verbs

When something is singular, it’s one. When the subject of a sentence is one thing or one person, the verb must match, so we say the verb is singular. This is especially important for certain verb tenses, especially in the present tense. Here are some examples:

  • Calvin goes to school every day.
  • Where does he go to school?
  • He doesn’t go to school on Saturday.

In the first sentence, “goes” matches the subject, “Calvin.” Both are singular. In the next two sentences, the helping verb “does” is also singular.

The thing that confuses students is the “s” that goes at the end of a verb when the verb is in the present tense and the subject is a thing or a person. For some students, the “s” makes words look plural, as is the case with most plural nouns.

Singular Nouns

Singular nouns are easier to identify. They don’t have an “s” at the end. They represent one thing. Here are some examples:

  • Calvin goes to school. (subject: Calvin)
  • You are a good student. (subject: You)
  • I have a new car. (subject: I)
  • The weather is nice today. (subject: weather)
  • Correct information is necessary. (subject: information)
  • Fishing requires patience. (subject: Fishing)

In the examples above, the word “information” is a noncount noun, and the word “fishing” is a gerund. You will learn more about gerunds in the Red Level.

Now try this exercise. Find and correct the errors in the following sentences and questions. The error will be the subject or the verb. Make sure they remain singular.

1. The children needs warm clothes.

2. She don’t live here.

3. It rain every day last week.

4. These runs on batteries.

5. Mike know how to fix his car.

How well did you do? The answers are below.

1. The child needs warm clothes.

2. She doesn’t live here.

3. It rained every day last week. (This is in the past tense.)

4. This runs on batteries.

5. Mike knows how to fix his car.

Next: Lesson Thirty-one

Plural nouns and verbs


Next: Blue Level Review

or move to the next level

The Red Level