Category Archives: Communication Skills

Problems in Subject-Verb Agreement

  • When Words Separate the Subject from its Verb.

Words that come between a subject and its verb do not affect the number (singular or plural) of the subject.  Determine which word is the sentence’s subject and then use it to decide whether the verb needs an –s ending.


Subject – Verb Agreement

I – The subject and verb must agree in number:  both must be singular, or both must be plural.


The choir sings.

The children sing.

Moods of Verbs

Mood – refers to the verb form which expresses a speaker’s or writer’s attitude.

Active Voice and Passive Voice

What is a voice?

Voice tells whether the subject of the sentence performs or receives the action.  In English, there are two voices, the active voice and the passive voice.

Active Voice – the subject performs the action expressed by the verb.

Example:   The student wrote a song.

Passive Voice – the subject receives the action expressed by the verb.

Example:  A song was written by the student.

Changing from Active to Passive Voice

Change a verb from active to passive only if it has a direct object (DO)

                                 S       active             DO

Example:   Heavy waves pounded the seacoast.

                             S                passive           agent

                  The seacoast was pounded by heavy waves.

Changing from Passive to Active Voice

To change a verb from passive to the active voice, turn the subject of the passive verb into the direct object of the active one.

                            S                  passive              agent

Example:    Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese.

                               S        active            DO

                   The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

Verb and Kinds of Verb

What is a verb?

Verb is the word that describes the action or state of being of the subject.

Example:  They began the boat race this morning.