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I am getting confused with usage of 's' with verb- consider following 2 sentences-

  1. I am the one who wants to stay with you.
  2. I am the one who want to stay with you.

According to me, first one is the correct usage, because, "the one who" is third person, and hence, the verb will get an 's'. Would like to know what is the rule to be followed in such cases.

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You are right, the first one is correct. –  Abid Aug 26 '11 at 5:19
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3 Answers 3

The word "am" is a symmetric verb in this case, it functions much like an equals sign. One one side is "I" and on the other side is the phrase "the one who wants to be with you". So the fact that "I" is first person all the way on the other side of the 'equation' doesn't affect "wants".

So, looking at the noun phrase "the one who wants to be with you", who or what "wants"? It is "the one" who wants. This is third person singular, so the form should be the same as it is in "he wants" or "it wants".

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Yes, in this case your logic predicts the grammatical form, which is to use the third person "wants".

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This is called "subject-verb agreement", and the rule for this is, if the subject is singular, the verb has to be singular, or similarly, if the verb is singular, the subject needs to be singular. Basically, the subject and the verb needs to have identical number.

"I" is a singular third person pronoun, hence, the number of the verb needs to be singular as well. With verbs, having an "s" usually means it's singular, for example:

He buys(singular) ...
He runs(singular...

In the same way, "wants" is singular, not "want". AS the subject is singular, we would use the singular form of "want", that is, "wants". Thus, no. 1 is correct:

I am the one who wants to stay with you.

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