I understand the use of have and has with different pronouns, but what about the following sentence: A successful athlete should have sufficient funds to support himself in later life.
Why don't we use the verb has because athlete is singular?

thank you

  • 1
    have is infinite here; a "conjugated" verb can't follow a modal such as should. May 30, 2017 at 0:09

1 Answer 1


In a chain of verbs only the first verb is finite—inflected for "tense" and for agreement with the subject. Subsequent verbs are cast in a non-finite form (infinitive or participle) determined by the preceding verb in the chain.

In your sentence the finite verb is the first, the modal verb should. Modal verbs do not inflect for agreement with the subject, but only for "tense", and they are always followed by a verb cast in the infinitive form—in this case, the infinitive form of HAVE, which is have.

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