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Subject Verb Agreement

A sentence is commonly defined as "a complete unit of thought." Normally, a sentence expresses a relationship, conveys a command, voices a question, or describes someone or something. It begins with a capital letter and ends with a period, question mark, or exclamation mark.
The basic parts of a sentence are the subject and the verb. The subject is usually a noun--a word that names a person, place, or thing. The predicate (or verb) usually follows the subject and identifies an action or a state of being. See if you can identify the subject and the predicate in each of the following short sentences:
  • The eagle soars.
  • The children weep.
  • My daughter is a swimmer.
  • The players are tired.
In each of these sentences, the subject is a noun: eagle, children, daughter, and players. The verbs in the first two sentences--soars, weep--show action and answer the question, "What does the subject do?" The verbs in the last two sentences--is, are--are called linking verbs because they link the subject with a word that renames it (daughter) or describes it (tired).

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