Could someone explain the difference between depend and depends?

When do I need to add the "s" at the end?

  • 1
    Search "Subject verb agreement" online and look for singular and plural conjugations.
    – vickyace
    Apr 29, 2016 at 8:08

3 Answers 3


To put it simply, subject-verb agreement.
What it means is that if the subject is singular, the verb shall be plural and vice-versa.

  • He depends on his father for money.

    (Here, the subject is singular, hence the verb is plural)

  • They depend on their father for money.

  • 1
    I believe this question is more about the usage of "depend on", "depends on", and "depending on", not simply the subject-verb agreement. Someone who can put up a question with such perfect grammar, would already know about that basic rule.
    – Alexar
    Jun 12, 2017 at 7:55

To answer your question, firstly we need to know about person and number. In the English language, person is classified into 3 types and number is classified into 2 types.

  1. First Person:
    Singular number: I, me, mine
    Plural number: we, us, our etc.
  2. Second Person: you, your etc.
  3. Third Person:
    Singular number: he, she, It, Nazmul(Name).
    Plural number: They, their etc.

When the sentence is present tense and the subject is Third Person singular number, then the verb would be in plural form(depends).

For example,

  • Jake depends on green plants to live.

  • Jake's pets depend on green plants to live.


for the subject "he", "she", or "it", we use verb+s/es
if plural and "you", we use verb (no adding s/es)

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