AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR & LANGUAGE
For example, Thus. we see that the Verb takes the same Person
To err is human. To find fault is easy. and its subject or, that the Verb agrees with its subject
2. Infinitive may be used like a Noun as the object of a and Person.
transitive Verb. The Verb has two Numbers.
For example, (i) The Singular, (ii) The Plural
I do not mean to read. For example,
He likes to play cards. (a) He listens. (b) They listen.
3. Infi ni t i ve may be use d l i ke a Noun as the This is because of the difference in Number of the
complement of a Verb. subjects.
For example, Therefore,
His greatest pleasure is to read. In the first sentence He listens, we find the Subject is
Her duty is to practise daily. singular and so, the Verb is singular.
4. Infinitive may be used like a Noun as the object of a In the next sentence They listen, we find the subject
preposition. is plural and so, the Verb is also plural.
For example, Thus, we see that the Verb takes the same Number as
He had no choice but to obey. its subject or, that the Verb agrees with its subject in Num-
The party is about to begin. ber.
5. Infinitive may be used like a Noun as an objective Rules to Which Verb Agrees :
complement. 1. The Verb must agree with its subject in Number
For example, and Person, i.e. the Verb must be of the same
I saw him go. I made him sing. Number and Person as its subject.
6. Infinitive is also used to qualify a Verb, usually to For example,
express purpose. I am here. I was there.
For example, I play badminton. I have a racket.
We eat to live. 2. If the subject is of the Singular Number, Third
He called to see my brother. Person, the Verb must be of the Singular Number,
7. Infinitive is used to qualify an Adjective. First person.
For example, For example,
The pupils are anxious to learn. He is here. He was there.
He plays badminton.
He is too ill to do any work.
He has a racket.
8. Infinitive is used to qualify a Noun.
3. If the subject is of the Plural Number, Third Person,
the Verb must be of the Plural Number, Third Person.
The house is to let.
This is not the time to play.
They are here.
9. Infinitive is also used to qualify a sentence. They were there.
For example, They plays badminton.
To tell the truth, I quite forgot my promise. They have rackets.
I did this all for you, to make you happy. Thus, the setting of Persons in both the Numbers (Sin-
10. Infinitive is again used as an Adverb of Purpose. gular and Plural) is in the following way :
For example, (in the Verb to be)
You are slow to move. Singular Plural
I come to buy Caesar. First Person : I am We are
Second Person : You are You are
PERSON AND NUMBER Third Person : He/She/it is They are
There are three persons in Verb. Subject - Verb Agreement
(i) The First Person (ii) The Second Person The Verb agrees with the subject in Number and Per-
(iii) The Third Person son. The followings are the norms which follow the agree-
For example, ment :
(a) I read. (b) You read. (c) He reads. 1. When two or more singular subjects are connected
by and, they take a Verb in the Plural.
In the first sentence, I read, the subject is of the First
Person, therefore the Verb is also of the First Person.
He and his friend have arrived.
In the second sentence, You read, the subject is of the
Fire and water do not agree.
second Person, Therefore the Verb is also of the Second
Person. Plato and Aristotle were Greek Philosophers.
In the third sentence, He reads, the subject is of the 2. If two singular nouns refer to the same person or
thing, the Verb must be singluar.
Third Person, therefore the Verb is also of the Third Per-
son. For example,