What Is Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-verb agreement is one of the fundamental rules of grammar in the English language. This grammar rule is essential for clarity in communication, especially when it comes to writing.

Subject-verb agreement states that the subject of a sentence must agree with the verb in terms of number. This means that if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb must be plural as well.

For example, in the sentence, “The cat meows,” the subject is “cat,” which is singular, and the verb is “meows,” which is also singular. Therefore, the sentence is grammatically correct.

On the other hand, in the sentence, “The cats meow,” the subject is “cats,” which is plural, and the verb is “meow,” also plural. In this case, the sentence is also grammatically correct.

It`s important to note that subject-verb agreement can be tricky, especially when dealing with more complex sentences that involve compound subjects, collective nouns, or indefinite pronouns.

For instance, in a sentence like “The book, pencil, and paper sit on the table,” the subject is a compound subject, which means that it is made up of two or more nouns. In this case, the verb must agree with the last noun in the series, which is “paper.”

Similarly, in sentences with collective nouns like “team,” “family,” or “audience,” the verb must agree with whether the noun is acting as a single unit or as individual members. For instance, “The team is playing well” versus “The team are disagreeing with each other.”

Indefinite pronouns like “everyone,” “someone,” or “none” can also be tricky when it comes to subject-verb agreement. These pronouns can be singular or plural depending on the context of the sentence. For example, “Everyone is here” versus “None of the people are here.”

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is a vital grammar rule to ensure clear and effective communication. It`s essential to consider the number and context of the subject and verb when writing to ensure that they agree with each other. When in doubt, remember to read your sentences out loud and listen for any awkward or incorrect phrasing.


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