Subject Verb Agreement (SVA) is a basic English grammar concept. It helps you know which form of the verb to use for a main actor / subject in a sentence.

To use it well, you must first know if you are talking about 1 (singular) or many people or things (multiples). This is called, knowing your Subject.

Once you know your Subject, you will know which form of the verb to use.

  • I drive
  • You drive
  • He / She drives
  • We drive
  • They drive
  • It drives (self-driving cars!)

Let’s look at the verb ”to drive”

Let’s make a sentence with the verb ”to drive”.

Simon drives to work every day.

The Subject is singular (1 man named Simon). As we refer to Simon as a third party (He), we say, Simon (he) drives. There is a Subject Verb Agreement because drives, is the correct form of the verb to use for ”He (Simon)”,

Now, let’s talk about Simon and his wife. How do they get to work everyday?

Simon and his wife drive to work every day.

The subject is plural (Simon and his wife – 2 people). So, if we refer to them as a 3rd party, we say they drive.

Look at more examples below.

  • Sarah (she) speaks really loudly on the phone.
  • My husband and I (we) speak English at home because he is originally from India, and I am from France.
  • My dogs (they) only eat raw meat.
  • You drive really fast! Slow down!

Try this free quiz to see if you can spot the right subjects and verbs!