Subject Verb Agreement Lesson

Articolo del 12 Febbraio 2022

Subject-verb agreement is an important grammatical rule that dictates how a subject and a verb should match in terms of number and person. The subject of a sentence refers to the person, place, or thing that performs the action, while the verb expresses the action itself. For instance, in the sentence “The dog chases the ball,” “dog” is the subject, and “chases” is the verb.

The rule of subject-verb agreement is that a singular subject should take a singular verb, and a plural subject should take a plural verb. For example, “He walks to the park” uses a singular subject (“he”) and a singular verb (“walks”), while “They walk to the park” uses a plural subject (“they”) and a plural verb (“walk”).

However, there are some cases where subject-verb agreement can be a bit tricky. For example, when a collective noun is used as the subject, it can be considered either singular or plural. Collective nouns are words that refer to groups of people or things, such as “team,” “family,” or “audience.” Depending on the context, these nouns can take a singular or plural verb. For example, “The team is playing well” uses a singular verb, while “The team are arguing over the decision” uses a plural verb.

Another instance where subject-verb agreement can be confusing is when the subject is separated from the verb by a phrase or clause. In these cases, it is important to identify the subject and ensure that the verb agrees with it. For example, in the sentence “Running through the park, the birds were singing,” “birds” is the subject, and the verb should be plural (“were singing”) to match it.

Subject-verb agreement is an essential rule for effective communication, especially in writing. Failing to follow this rule can result in confusion and detract from the clarity of your writing. As a copy editor, it is your responsibility to ensure that all the content you review adheres to this grammatical rule. By identifying and correcting errors in subject-verb agreement, you can help to enhance the quality and readability of the content, and ensure that the intended message is conveyed clearly.