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Problems with Subjects and Verbs




Some special subject-verb agreement rules:

a. The words THERE and HERE are never subjects. When a sentence starts with these words, the subject usually comes after the verb: There comes the boss. (BOSS COMES)

b. In questions, the subject may come after the helping verb it agrees with. To check agreement, make the question into a statement. Isn't Tim trying his best? (TIM ISN'T TRYING)

Irregular verbs:

Verbs have three principal parts: present, past, and past participle. The past participle is used with

the helping verbs HAS, HAVE, and HAD.

I GO to school each day.

I WENT to school yesterday.

I HAVE GONE to school all my life.

Troublesome verbs:

SIT means to be in a sitting position.

I SIT down now. I SAT down yesterday. I have SAT down.

SET means to put something someplace.

I SET this book down now. I SET this book down yesterday. I have SET this book down before.

LIE means to be in a reclining position.

I LIE down now. I LAY down yesterday. I have LAIN in bed all week.

LAY means to put something down.

I LAY this book down now. I LAID this book down yesterday. I have LAID this book down


RISE means to go up by itself.

The stars RISE in the sky. They ROSE last night. They have RISEN each night since the earth

was formed.

RAISE means to lift up.

We RAISE the flag each morning. We RAISED the flag yesterday. We have RAISED the flag

many times.

LET suggests a course of action.

LET him speak for himself. LET the rope out slowly.

LEAVE means to allow to remain.

LEAVE him where he is. LEAVE the rope on the post.

Both LET and LEAVE can be used with ALONE.

LEAVE should not be used before an infinitive.

STAY means to remain.

They STAY at home. They STAYED away from the argument. They have STAYED on course.

STAND means to be upright.

They STAND alone. They STOOD quietly. They have STOOD there for hours.

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