Verb-Verb Agreement

The dog walks, sniffs, and barks.

The dog walked, sniffed, and barked.


Basics

Verb-Verb Agreement is an essential aspect of grammar.

Verb-Verb Agreement is a rich source for test questions.

In the Reasoning Through Language Arts module, there will be questions about (but not necessarily limited to) the following rules of verb-verb agreement:
(1) The tense of a series of verbs through which a subject acts should match.
(2) A series of verbs acting in present tense should match.
(3) A series of verbs acting in past tense should match.


Tense

Verbs act in many different tenses (times), among the most common of which are:
(1) Present Tense = verb acting in the present
The dog barks.
The dogs bark.

(2) Past Tense = verb acting in the past, usually ending in ed, whether subject is singular or plural
The dog barked.
The dogs barked.


Matching Present Tense
A series of verbs acting in present tense should match.
Correct:  The dog walks, sniffs, and barks.
Incorrect:  The dog walks, sniffed, and barks.


Matching Past Tense
A series of verbs acting in past tense should match.
Correct:  The dog walked, sniffed, and barked.
Incorrect:  The dog walked, sniffs, and barked.


Question

Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  The cat scratched, meows, and curls.
(B)  The cat scratches, meowed, and curls.
(C)  The cat scratches, meows, and curled.
(D)  The cat scratches, meows, and curls.

Answer
(D)  The cat scratches, meows, and curls.

Answer Process
The subject is cat.  The verbs through which cat acts are scratches, meows, and curls, all in present tense.


Question

Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  Bob raked the leaves, mowed the lawn, and washes the car before he even thought about taking a break to watch the ballgame on TV.
(B)  Bob raked the leaves, mows the lawn, and washed the car before he even thought about taking a break to watch the ballgame on TV.
(C)  Bob raked the leaves, mowed the lawn, and washed the car before he even thought about taking a break to watch the ballgame on TV.
(D)  Bob rakes leaves, mowed the lawn, and washed the car before he even thought about taking a break to watch the ballgame on TV.

Answer
C)  Bob raked the leaves, mowed the lawn, and washed the car before he even thought about taking a break to watch the ballgame on TV.

Answer Process
The subject is Bob.  The verbs through which Bob acts are rakedmowed, and washed, all in past tense.


Practice – Questions
1.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  The bird peeped, chirps, and cheeps.
(B)  The bird peeps, chirps, and cheeped.
(C)  The bird peeps, chirps, and cheeps.
(D)  The bird peeps, chirped, and cheeps.

2.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  The birds peeped, chirp, and cheep.
(B)  The birds peep, chirped, and cheep.
(C)  The birds peep, chirp, and cheeped.
(D)  The birds peep, chirp, and cheep.

3.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  Instead of a nap, Bob mashes the potatoes, baked the beans, and ironed the laundry.
(B)  Instead of a nap, Bob mashed the potatoes, bakes the beans, and ironed the laundry.
(C)  Instead of a nap, Bob mashed the potatoes, baked the beans, and ironed the laundry.
(D)  Instead of a nap, Bob mashed the potatoes, baked the beans, and irons the laundry.

4.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  Betty walked through the parking lot, hiked the trail, and scaled the mountain before calling to see if Bob had done his chores.
(B)  Betty walks through the parking lot, hiked the trail, and scaled the mountain before calling to see if Bob had done his chores.
(C)  Betty walked through the parking lot, hikes the trail, and scaled the mountain before calling to see if Bob had done his chores.
(D)  Betty walked through the parking lot, hiked the trail, and scales the mountain before calling to see if Bob had done his chores.

5.  Which of the following sentences uses correct grammar?
(A)  The players dons their uniforms, walked through the parking lot, and dallied at the concession stand on their way to the playing field.
(B)  The players donned their uniforms, walks through the parking lot, and dallied at the concession stand on their way to the playing field.
(C)  The players donned their uniforms, walked through the parking lot, and dallies at the concession stand on their way to the playing field.
(D)  The players donned their uniforms, walked through the parking lot, and dallied at the concession stand on their way to the playing field.


Practice – Answers
1.  (C)  The bird peeps, chirps, and cheeps.

2.  (D)  The birds peep, chirp, and cheep.

3.  (C)  Instead of a nap, Bob mashed the potatoes, baked the beans, and ironed the laundry.

4.  (A)  Betty walked through the parking lot, hiked the trail, and scaled the mountain before calling to see if Bob had done his chores.

5.  (D)  The players donned their uniforms, walked through the parking lot, and dallied at the concession stand on their way to the playing field.

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