Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental aspect of the English language that is essential in ensuring clarity and coherence in writing. This grammatical rule requires that the verb in a sentence agrees with the subject in terms of number, i.e., singular or plural. Proper subject-verb agreement is crucial in writing, as it helps the reader to understand the intended meaning of a sentence and prevents ambiguity.
Here are some basic rules to remember when dealing with subject-verb agreement:
1. The verb agrees with the subject in number.
The subject of a sentence can be either singular or plural, and the verb must agree with it accordingly. For example:
– The cat chases the mouse. (singular subject, singular verb)
– The cats chase the mice. (plural subject, plural verb)
2. Compound subjects take a plural verb.
When there are two or more subjects in a sentence, they form a compound subject. The verb that follows must be plural. For example:
– Mike and Jane are going to the party. (compound subject, plural verb)
3. Indefinite pronouns take a singular or plural verb.
Indefinite pronouns are those that do not refer to a specific person or thing. When used as the subject of a sentence, they can take either a singular or plural verb, depending on the context. For example:
– Someone is knocking at the door. (singular verb)
– All of the books are on the table. (plural verb)
4. Collective nouns take a singular or plural verb.
A collective noun refers to a group or collection of people or things. When used as the subject of a sentence, they can take either a singular or plural verb depending on the context. For example:
– The team is ready to play. (singular verb)
– The audience were cheering loudly. (plural verb)
In conclusion, proper subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of clear and coherent writing. It allows the reader to understand the intended meaning of a sentence while preventing ambiguity. By following these simple rules, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and easy to understand.