When working with written or spoken English, it can sometimes become tricky to know which tense to use. Suppose you need to change plural verbs into singular ones. In that case, you should understand what verbs are, their singular and plural forms, and how to change sentences into singular and plural.
Plural verbs typically have an added “s” or “es” to the word. To change a plural verb to the singular form, remove the “s” or “es .” This will give you the correct singular form of the verb in most cases. To change a sentence into a singular form, you must change the subject into a plural.
Changing from singular to plural entails adding an “s,” “es,” or “ies” in most cases. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, and we need to ensure that the subject of the sentence agrees with the form of the verb you use. It may seem a little confusing right now, but join us as we uncover precisely how to change plural verbs to singular verbs in this handy guide.
How To Change Plural Verbs To Their Singular Form
When learning how to change a plural verb into a singular one, we need to understand verbs, how they fit into sentences, and how we make verbs plural, to begin with. Let’s look at these factors and how to change verbs from plural to singular.
What Is A Verb?
A verb tells us what the subject of the sentence is doing. The subject can be a person, animal, or object. Here are examples of each:
- Grandma (subject) works (verb) at the school. Here we see that “Grandma,” a person, is the subject, and the verb “works” is what she is doing.
- The dog (subject) runs (verb) with the ball. In this sentence, “the dog,” an animal, is the subject, and the verb “runs” is what the dog is doing.
- The chair (subject) is wobbling (verb). In this sentence, “the chair,” an object, is “wobbling,” which is a verb and what the chair is doing.
Verbs are doing words and can occur in singular, plural, present, past, and future tense.
How Do Verbs Fit Into Sentences?
Verbs tell us what the subject of our sentence is doing. To make sense, they need to agree with the subject at all times. Let’s look briefly at subject-verb agreement.
In general, if the sentence’s subject is singular, E.G., The girl, the verb will be plural. E.G., plays.
To change the verb to singular, we also need to change the subject. So, to change “plays” to “play,” we change “The girl” to “The girls.”
The plural form of the verb in the sentence: The girl plays.
The singular form of the verb in the sentence: The girls play.
We know that the verb is singular in the second sentence because it has no “s” at the end of the word.
Let’s look at three more examples using the same technique. In all three cases, we show both the plural and singular version of the verb with its related subject.
My cousin digs. Subject: my cousin. Verb: digs
My cousins dig.
The ball bounces. Subject: the ball. Verb: bounces
The balls bounce.
The dog fights. Subject: the dog. Verb: fights
The dogs fight.
In each of the sentences above, when the subject is singular, the verb is plural. We know this because there is an “s” at the end of the verb.
When we change the verb to singular, we remove the “s” and change the subject to plural. We know the subject is plural because it has an “s” added to it like the verbs. Adding an “s” to a subject or verb is one of a few ways to demonstrate singular and plural forms of words.
There are three main ways we use it:
- Add an “s” to the end of the verb
- Add an “es” to the end of the verb
- Change the spelling or add “ies” to the end of the verb
To understand how to change verbs from plural to singular, we need to know how to adapt the subject as required. We also need to understand what singular and plural verbs look like in all three variations.
Singular And Plural Forms Of Verbs
Since verbs can be made plural in three main ways, let us look at a few examples of each method. Once you have a general understanding of verbs in their plural form, you will be better able to point them out in a sentence and adapt them to their singular form.
These lists are tiny compared to the number of English words in the world; however, they are here to give you an understanding of the three versions of plural verbs.
Verbs That Add An “s”:
- Walk – walks
- Run – runs
- Fight – fights
- Look – looks
- Believe – believes
- Look – looks
- Type – types
- Speak – speaks
- Listen – listens
- Sleep – sleeps
Verbs That Add An “es”:
- Hatch – hatches
- Wash – washes
- Mix – mixes
- Catch – catches
- Go – goes
- Buzz – buzzes
- Match- matches
- Watch- watches
- Fax – faxes
- Guess – guesses
Verbs That Change Their Spelling:
- Is – are
- Dry – dries
- Fly – flies
- Cry – cries
When verbs end in “y,” the “y” falls away, and we add “ies” in its place.
Now that you have a few examples of plural verbs, you will be able to spot plural verbs within sentences and begin the process of changing their form to singular.
The quickest way to change a verb from plural to singular is to remove the “s,” “es,” or “ies.” If you would like the verb to agree with the subject, read on as we reveal a step-by-step guide on identifying the subject and verb and changing them to allow for the singular form of the verb.
Changing Plural Verbs To Singular: A Step-By-Step Guide
If you need to change the verb form in your sentences from plural to singular, it will help to have a simple guide to follow. Following a step-by-step approach will ensure that your verb is not only in its correct form but also agrees with the subject of each sentence.
Let’s look at the simple guide you can follow to change your plural verbs to the singular and make them agree with your subjects.
- Identify the subject of the sentence. This will likely be a person, animal, or object.
- Identify the verb of the sentence. This is what action the subject is doing.
- Assess the verb and identify whether there is an “s,” “es,” or “ies” at the end. If one of these is present, remove it to reveal the singular version of the verb.
- Return to the subject of the sentence. If it was singular before, change it to become plural. The subject needs to be plural to match the singular form of the verb.
- Read the sentence. Now that you have changed the form of the subject and verb read the sentence to ensure it makes sense in its new form.
English is no simple language; however, if you take a simple approach and work with what you know, you will be able to change plural verbs to their singular forms easily.
Knowing that plural verbs have an “s,” “es,” or “ies” at the end of the word enables you to identify the verb in every sentence. Once you have found the plural verb, remove the letter or letters that make it plural to restore it to its singular form. To make the entire sentence agree, identify the subject and change it to plural.
To have a sentence with a subject and verb that agree, the two should be opposite. When the subject is plural, the verb needs to be singular. If the subject is singular, the verb should be plural. Take a step-by-step approach when changing verbs from plural to singular, and it should become a simple matter with practice.