Subject-verb agreement occurs when the verb of the sentence and its subject have the same number. When the subject is singular the verb is in singular form, and when the subject is plural the verb is in plural form. Sentences that do not have subject-verb agreement are considered incorrect. This concept is very straightforward when the subject is a single individual, but it can be confusing when a group, a pronoun, or a compound subject is involved. Students may have trouble grasping the finer points of subject-verb agreement, so games and other activities can sometimes be used to maintain interest and facilitate understanding

Simple Game

Split the class into two equal groups. Ask each group to write five subject nouns and five verbs. Have one group write out or say a noun from the list, and the other group offer a verb to go with the noun. The entire room discusses whether or not the verb agrees with the noun. If the verb agrees, the team that offered the verb gets a point. If not, the other team gets a point. The teams then switch, and the second team offers a noun and the first team offers a verb.

Subject-Verb Relay

Tape identical sets of sentences, with a choice of singular or plural verb forms, to the wall or board on each side of the room. Arrange the class into two teams. The teams engage in a relay race to complete the sentences with the correct verb. Each team gets one point for each correct sentence and bonus points for being the first to finish.

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Red Rover

The class splits into two teams on opposite sides of the room. A student from one side of the room goes to the other team and chooses an individual student. The first student states a sentence but leaves out the verb. The student from the second team has to provide a verb that agrees with the subject, or the first student takes him to the other team. If the student from the second team gives a correct answer, both students stay with the second team. The teams take turns doing this until time runs out. The team with the most students wins.


Write an identical number of subject nouns and verbs on small cards. Some of the nouns and verbs must be singular and some must be plural. Place the cards face down in random order. The students take turns turning over pairs of cards. If the two cards are a verb and a noun, and they match in terms of subject-verb agreement, then the student keeps the cards. At the end of the game the student with the most cards wins.

About the Author

Talmadge Walker is a former schoolteacher turned professional writer. He has a bachelor's degree from Birmingham-Southern College and a master's degree in special education from Elon University. Talmadge is a volunteer historic interpreter at the Bennett Place State Historic Site.