Yasmina won! And Sir Alan doesn’t use subject – verb agreement

If you live in the UK you have probably heard about – and maybe have even been following – the TV programme ‘The Apprentice’ over the past few months. Well, of course I said right from the start that Yasmina would win (if it wasn’t Kate, or Lorraine or Howard that is). At least it wasn’t Debrah, Philip or Ben though! Phew.

I have been thinking about the English third person ‘s’ – that is the ‘s’ on the end of the verb as in:
Yasmina runs a restaurant
Debra uses a lot of bad language.

and I’ve been thinking about this because Sarah wrote to me the other day asking why I didn’t put an ‘s’ on the end of the word ‘like’ when I said:
“the younger half of the population like drinking and the older half like decorating”.
You can see Sarah’s comment and my answer here.

Now I’m paying attention I realise how many people don’t use it, even famous people on the TV! Watch and listen to Sir Alan at the start of ‘The Apprentice’:

If you didn’t catch it, this is what he said:
This is a job interview from hell. First prize – you get to work for me. Second prize – don’t exist!

Don’t exist?? Doesn’t Sir Alan know that is should be: Second prize – doesn’t exist!
What is the world coming to?

Here’s an exercise on the third person ‘s’ from The Grammar Aquarium here.

Share This