Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental rule in English grammar. It is essential to ensure that the subject and verb in a sentence agree with each other in terms of number. The subject and verb agreement is crucial to make sure that the sentence is correct, coherent, and easy to understand.
In simple terms, the subject is the noun or pronoun in a sentence that performs the action, while the verb is the action word that that subject performs. The rule of subject-verb agreement states that a singular subject must have a singular verb, and a plural subject must have a plural verb.
Here are the basic rules of subject-verb agreement:
1. Singular subjects require singular verbs, and plural subjects require plural verbs.
Example: The teacher teaches the class. (Singular subject-verb agreement)
The teachers teach the classes. (Plural subject-verb agreement)
2. Compound subjects that are joined by ‘and’ are plural and require a plural verb.
Example: John and Jane are going to the movies.
3. When the subject of the sentence is a collective noun (e.g., family, team, committee), the verb can be singular or plural depending on the context.
Example: The team is playing well. (Singular verb)
The team members are arguing with each other. (Plural verb)
4. When the subject is a singular indefinite pronoun (e.g., anyone, someone), the verb must also be singular.
Example: Someone is knocking on the door right now.
5. When there are subjects joined by ‘or’ or ‘nor,’ the verb agrees with the subject that is closest to it.
Example: Neither the students nor the teacher is happy with the results.
6. When the subject is a singular noun that represents a group of people or things (e.g., army, herd, crowd), the verb used can be singular or plural.
Example: The flock of birds is flying south. (Singular verb)
The herd of cows are grazing in the field. (Plural verb)
7. When the subject is a plural noun that represents a group of people or things (e.g., police, people, soldiers), the verb must be plural.
Example: The people are celebrating the festival.
Subject-verb agreement is a crucial rule of grammar that should not be overlooked. It is essential to ensure that the verb agrees with the subject in terms of number, whether it is singular or plural. Knowing the rules of subject-verb agreement can help to improve the clarity and accuracy of your writing. As a professional, it is essential to keep these rules in mind to improve the quality of the content you edit and ensure that they meet the standards of SEO.