Select Page

Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental rule in grammar that ensures that the subject and the verb in a sentence agree in number. In simpler terms, it means that a singular subject requires a singular verb, while a plural subject requires a plural verb. This agreement is essential in making your writing clear, precise, and grammatically correct.

So what does subject-verb agreement look like? Here`s an example of a sentence with correct subject-verb agreement:

The cat chases the mouse.

In this sentence, the subject (cat) is singular, and the verb (chases) is also singular. The singular subject and verb create a clear and concise sentence.

Now, let`s take a look at a sentence with incorrect subject-verb agreement:

The cats chases the mouse.

In this sentence, the subject (cats) is plural, but the verb (chases) is singular. The incorrect agreement makes the sentence confusing and grammatically incorrect.

To ensure subject-verb agreement in your writing, remember the following guidelines:

1. Identify the subject of the sentence. The subject is the noun or pronoun that the sentence is about.

2. Determine whether the subject is singular or plural.

3. Choose the appropriate verb that agrees with the subject in number.

For example:

Singular subject: The dog barks.

Plural subject: The dogs bark.

Irregular subject: My family is going on vacation. (Even though “family” may be seen as a plural noun, it is singular in this context and requires a singular verb.)

In addition to the guidelines above, there are some exceptions to subject-verb agreement that you should be aware of:

1. Indefinite pronouns: Some indefinite pronouns, such as “everyone” and “anyone,” are always singular and require a singular verb.

2. Collective nouns: Collective nouns, such as “team” and “jury,” are singular or plural depending on the context of the sentence.

3. Compound subjects: When two or more subjects are joined by “and,” the verb is plural.

4. Singular subjects with “or” or “nor”: When a singular subject is connected by “or” or “nor” to another noun or pronoun, the verb agrees with the subject closest to it.

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is a crucial aspect of grammar that ensures clarity and precision in your writing. By understanding the guidelines and exceptions, you can easily identify and correct errors in your sentences. So, always keep an eye on the subject and verb in your sentences to achieve grammatically correct writing!