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Person And Number

1. I am.

2. Thou art.

3. He is.

4. We are.

In these sentences the verbs am, art, is, and are are said to agree with their subjects I, thou, he, and we. As the subjects have person and number, the verbs agreeing with them are also said to have person and number.

In what person and number is am in the first sentence? art in the second sentence? is in the third sentence? are in the fourth sentence?

Thus verbs are said to agree with their subjects in person and number.


The form of the verb changes to agree with its subject in person and number in only a few instances.

The verb be, when used either as a principal verb or as an auxiliary, has these forms in the present indicative:



I am.

We are.

Thou art.

You are.

He is.

They are.

In the past indicative:



I was.

We were.

Thou wast.

You were.

He was.

They were.

The person and number of a verb are its forms to suit the person and number of its subject.

A verb agrees with its subject in person and number; that is, it is singular or plural, and first, second, or third person, according to the number and person of its subject. Give the person and number of the verbs in the following sentences':

1. I am monarch of all I survey.

2. You may go if you will, but I remain here.

3. Admiral Dewey's flagship, the Olympia, led the procession.

4. The time for action has come; will you lose your opportunity now?

5. Men of thought and men of action, clear the way.

6. What have you learned from your books that will help you in life?

7. I consent, sir, to this Constitution, because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that it is not the best.

8. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together.

9. Observe good faith and justice toward all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all.

10. It was one of the bravest deeds I ever witnessed.

11. Often there were five hundred negroes to a single white man, and yet through these dusky throngs the women and children walked in safety, and the unprotected homes rested in peace.

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