ATI TEAS GUIDE TO ENGLISH & LANGUAGE USAGE | SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENTS & VERB TENSES

ATI TEAS ENGLISH AND LANGUAGE USAGE REVIEW – SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT

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QUIZ QUESTIONS LISTED AT END OF REVIEW

The subject of a sentence must always agree with its verb. This means that the subject and verb must both be either singular or plural. Subject-Verb Agreement questions address whether there is a match between single and plural subjects and verbs.

Consider the following examples:

Her niece was never in the mood to play hopscotch. Correct.

The subject of this sentence, her niece, is singular. The verb, was, is also singular. This sentence has subject-verb agreement because the subject and verb are both singular.

Her nieces was never in the mood to play hopscotch. Incorrect.

In this case, the subject is plural: her nieces refers to more than one niece. This sentence requires the plural verb were.

Here nieces were never in the mood to play hopscotch. Correct.

The singular verb was in the incorrect sentence has been replaced by the plural verb were. Now the subject and the verb are both plural, so the subject and verb agree.

Another example: Why doesn’t your grandfather like to fish? Correct.

The subject here, grandfather, is singular. The verb doesn’t like, is also singular. This sentence has subject-verb agreement.

Why doesn’t your grandfather and grandmother like to fish? Incorrect.

Whenever a subject contains two nouns joined by the word and, this make the subject plural. Since the subject of the sentence is now plural, the sentence needs a plural verb:

Why don’t your grandfather and grandmother like to fish? Correct.

The singular verb doesn’t like from the sentence above has been replaced with the plural verb don’t like. The subject and the verb are both in plural form, so they now agree.

ATI TEAS ENGLISH AND LANGUAGE USAGE REVIEW – VERB TENSES

Verb tenses are used to show when the action is taking place in the sentence.

UNDERSTANDING SIMPLE TENSES

The most common verb tenses are past, present, and future. If the action of the sentence is taking place in the past, the verbs showing that action should be in the past tense. If the action of the sentence is taking place in the present, the verbs showing that action should be in the present tense, and so on.

Verb Tenses questions address the correct use of verb tenses and whether a verb phrase matches the tense used in the rest of the sentence.

The following example is written in the past tense. It contains the past tense phrase yesterday: Andrew received his class award yesterday. Correct.

The verb received correctly indicates that the action of the sentence took place in the past.

Another example: Andrew received his class award tomorrow. Incorrect.

This sentence is incorrect because the past tense verb received does not make sense in the context of the sentence. Here we have a future tense phrase, tomorrow. The correct verb for this sentence is will receive, to place this sentence in the future tense: Andrew will receive his class award tomorrow. Correct.

Another example: Before the movie, the group went out to dinner. Correct.

The sentence contains a reference to show that the action took place in the past. The phrase before the movie shows that some action took place prior to the move. That action therefore needs a past tense verb. This sentence is correct as written. The past tense verb went shows that the group had dinner before seeing the movie.

Another example:  She is choosing between her top two colleges today. Correct.

This sentence correctly shows its action taking place in the present. It contains the present tense phrase today, and it uses the present tense verb is choosing.

Another example: She is choosing between her top two colleges last week. Incorrect.

This sentence also contains the present tense verb phrase is choosing. However, the phrase last week indicates that the action of the sentence took pace in the past. This sentence, as written is incorrect.

Last example: She chose between her top two colleges last week. Correct.

This sentence reads that she chose between her top two college last week to show clearly that the action took place in the past.




 

UNDERSTANDING PROGRESSIVE TENSES

Progressive tenses are the present progressive, past progressive, and future progressive. They show that an action is in progress. These tenses are also sometimes called continuous tenses.

  • Present progressive is formed: Subject + am / is / are + -ing verb + object. My teacher is assigning us a mountain of homework.
  • Past progressive is formed: Subject + was / were + -ing verb + object. The rabbit was running for hours.
  • Future progressive is formed: Subject + will be + -ing verb + object. I will be sleeping when you get back.

UNDERSTANDING PERFECT TENSES

Perfect tenses are the present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect.

  • Present perfect tense shows action that was recently completed or was completed at an indefinite time in the past.
    • The tense is formed: Subject + has / have + past participle verb + object. My teacher has assigned a mountain of homework.
  • Past perfect tense shows an action that was completed directly before another action was completed.
    • The tense is formed: Subject + had + past participle verb + object. The rabbit had run for hours until it found shelter.
  • Future perfect tense shows an action that will happen before another action happens.
    • The tense is formed: Subject + will have + past participle verb + object. I will have fallen asleep by the time you get back.

UNDERSTANDING PERFECT PROGRESSIVE TENSES

Perfect progressive tenses are the present perfect progressive, past perfect progressive, and future perfect progressive. They show that an action in the perfect tense is in progress. These tenses are also sometimes called perfect continuous tenses.

  • Present perfect progressive is formed: Subject + has / had been + -ing verb + object. My teacher has been assigning us a mountain of homework all year.
  • Past perfect progressive is formed: Subject + had been + -ing verb + object. The rabbit had been running for hours.
  • Future perfect progressive is formed: Subject + will have been + -ing verb + object. I will have been sleeping for hours by the time you get home.

ATI TEAS ENGLISH & LANGUAGE USAGE Verb

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