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Learning English Grammar | singular and plural verb forms

English Grammar | singular and plural verbs

Health and education are top priorities for the new government. [correct]
Health and education is top priority for the new government. [incorrect]

The number of students going on to higher education has increased. [correct]
The number of students going on to higher education have increased. [incorrect]

Singular and plural verbs in English grammar

We use a singular verb form [is, has, makes, needs, etc.]:

after a singular noun
Each team has eleven players.
Everybody needs a minimum amount of sleep per night.

after an uncountable noun
Research shows that people with pets are less likely to suffer from stress.

after the number / percentage / proportion, etc. of
The proportion of people living alone has increased.

We use a plural verb form [are, have, make, need, etc.]:

after a plural noun
Most people recycle less than 30% of their waste.
Computers have become an essential part of everyday life.

after two or more singular or uncountable nouns considered together
Japan and the US have similar rates of literacy.

* Remember that when you use more than one verb in a sentence with the same subject, they must all be in the same form:
The project provides a place for children to play safely and keeps them out of trouble.

See more common English grammar mistakes

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