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Serenity Carr, Assistant Editor
When to Add -S to Regular Verbs
Thursday August 2nd 2018
Question
When you have two nouns or two names, like Lisa and Ronald, why do we not add -s to the verb? — Shravya, India
Answer

In English, the -s is only added to regular verbs in the present tense when the subject of the verb is a third person singular subject. This -s is different from the plural -s. Do not confuse the two.

 

The subject "Lisa and Ronald" is a third person plural subject, so the verb does not get an -s.

 

Below is a chart showing the regular verb drop with different subjects, both singular and plural.

drop   singular   ↓ plural   ↓
first person  → drop the ball.    We drop the ball.
second person → You drop the ball.  You (all) drop the ball.
third person → He/She/It drops the ball   They drop the ball.

 

Notice that the verb is always drop in the present tense, unless the subject is third person singular. Subjects like "Lisa and Ronald" are third person plural subjects. The names can be replaced by the third person plural pronoun "they" in the sentence, as shown below:

Lisa and Ronald drop the ball. = They drop the ball.

 

Remember: regular present tense verbs only get an -s if they are third person singular. This -s is different from the -s that goes on plural nouns. Do not confuse the two.

 

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