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I just recently wrote a sentence to a client, then had to correct the sentence and wondered about one of the words.

I wrote the sentence:

Any Sunday in September works

Then I realized I could also do any Sunday in October, so I had to change the sentence to

Any Sunday in September & October work

Where did the "s" go in "works"? What is that called and what are the rules?

  • I work, we work, you work, he works, they work. – Hot Licks Jul 20 '18 at 3:03
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    Your changed sentence is incorrect. It should still be "Any Sunday in September and October works", because the verb needs to agree with the subject, which is Any Sunday, not "September and October". – stangdon Jul 20 '18 at 3:29
  • @stangdon Oh my, I'm not sure how I missed that. Thank you! I'm glad I got to learn about subject-verb agreement though. – ntgCleaner Jul 23 '18 at 13:13
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It's called subject–verb agreement.

The subject and the verb have to agree in grammatical number.

Since the subject remains Sunday, the verb remains works (3rd-person singular present). Why it's ok to use the present tense to talk about the future is actually a lot more complicated, but you didn't ask about that.

The months are objects of the preposition in and have no effect on the verb. Screwing up subject-verb agreement because of intervening prepositional phrases is a common mistake among native speakers but doesn't have any special name as far as I know.

(It's worth mentioning that some prepositional phrases do change the grammatical number of the subject. For example, 'Some of us are...' but 'Some of the money is...' Your sentence doesn't involve the words 'some', 'any', 'none', 'all', or 'most', though, so that side rule doesn't come into play for you.)

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The sentence should be of the form "Any Sunday... works". Since "Sunday" is in the third person singular, you would use "works", not "work". You would of course specify which Sundays you're referring to, and the Sunday could be in either September or October, so the completed sentence would be "Any Sunday in September or October works".

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