Vexed Verbs



Image courtesy of Beverley Wright

Oops-a-daisy. “Good deals” has a singular-subject verb. It should be “good deals do not last.” And “drop’s” doesn’t need an apostrophe. Anyway, using the wrong verb form is not as prevalent as other grammar mistakes, but it does indeed happen. Most common:

  1. They was coming for a weekend visit. (They were coming.)
  2. There was a lot of weeds in the yard. (There were a lot.)

It appears that differentiating verbs from a singular or plural subject is the issue, as is the case above. It’s the opposite of what we think: plural subjects need singular verbs and vice versa. Example:

  1. Mallard ducks live in the pond behind my house.
  2. The mallard duck lives in the pond behind my house.

See how the singular subject gets the verb with an “s” at the end? Remember that rule, and you’ll be right as rain! Here’s a cheat sheet for good measure:

Subject Verb
We Do/are/were
They Do/are/were
I Do/am/was
She/He Does/is/was


In closing, here’s an article I wrote of late as a guest blogger. The Interview Coin’s Other Side: Tips for Employers
by Sean C. Wright

Happy reading and writing, my friends!

Sean C. Wright is the author of the short stories Bubble Bath TwelveHazel Hogan and Devil Does Dallas. She is also an editor. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit


Send me your typo images! Snap pictures and email them to They must be real pictures and not images in online links, as those might be doctored. I’m looking for The Real McCoy. Conceal the company’s identity if possible. No sweat if you can’t. I’ll hide the name before I post it. We’re not looking to embarrass, but to educate.