Did Not Subject Verb Agreement

Did Not Subject Verb Agreement: Common Mistake in Writing

Subject verb agreement is a fundamental component of a well-written sentence. It refers to the grammatical rule that states that the tense of the verb must match the number and person of the subject. It may seem like a straightforward rule, but many writers still struggle with it. One common mistake is the “did not” subject verb agreement error.

What is the Did Not Subject Verb Agreement?

The “did not” subject verb agreement error occurs when a writer uses the past tense “did not” before the verb and then uses a singular noun as a subject. The issue with this is that “did not” implies a plural subject. Therefore, it creates a disagreement in the number, person, and tense in the sentence, which causes confusion and makes the sentence sound awkward.

For instance, consider the following sentences:

Incorrect: The manager did not attend to the customer.

Correct: The manager did not attend to the customers.

The first sentence is incorrect because the verb “attend” has to agree with the subject “manager” as a singular noun. But, the use of “did not” suggests a plural subject, creating a subject verb disagreement. The second sentence is the correct form, as the ‘customers’ match the third-person plural verb ‘attend.’

Tips to Avoid Did Not Subject Verb Agreement

To avoid this error, it is crucial to understand the rules of subject verb agreement. Here are some tips that can help you avoid the “did not” subject verb agreement error in your writing:

1. Check for verb tense and number agreement with the subject before using “did not.”

2. Use singular subjects with singular verbs and plural subjects with plural verbs.

3. If you use “did not,” make sure that the subject agrees with the tense of the verb.

4. Proofread your work to ensure that you have used the correct verb tense and number agreement.


Subject verb agreement is an essential component of good writing. It ensures that your sentences are clear and easy to understand. The “did not” subject verb agreement error is a common mistake that many writers make. By adhering to the rules of subject verb agreement and following the tips mentioned above, you can avoid this error and create well-written, grammatically correct sentences.