Simple Notes on Subject Verb Agreement
Subject-verb agreement is the core of any sentence. A sentence is said to have a subject-verb agreement only when the verb agrees with the subject in terms of person and number. In simple terms, it means that if the subject is in singular form, then the verb must also be in singular form, and if the subject is in plural form, then the verb must be in plural form.
The following are some simple notes on subject-verb agreement that will help you to avoid common mistakes when writing.
1. Singular subjects take singular verbs
For example, “The dog barks” and “She sings” are examples of sentences with singular subjects and verbs. The verb in both sentences is in the singular form since the subject in both sentences is singular.
2. Plural subjects take plural verbs
For example, “The dogs bark” and “They sing” are examples of sentences with plural subjects and verbs. The verb in both sentences is in the plural form since the subject in both sentences is plural.
3. Compound subjects take plural verbs
When two or more subjects are connected by “and”, the verb used in the sentence must be in the plural form. For example, “My friend and I are going to the party”. In this sentence, the two subjects “my friend” and “I” are connected by “and,” which makes the verb “are” plural.
4. Singular subjects connected by “or” or “nor” take a singular verb
When two singular subjects are connected by “or” or “nor,” the verb used in the sentence must be in the singular form. For example, “Neither the cat nor the dog loves me” and “Either the cat or the dog loves me.” In both sentences, the subjects connected by “nor” and “or” are singular, which makes the verb “loves” singular.
5. Indefinite pronouns take singular or plural verbs depending on the context
Indefinite pronouns like “everyone,” “someone,” “nobody,” and “anybody” are used to refer to a person without specifying who. These pronouns can take either a singular or plural verb depending on the context of the sentence. For example, “Everyone is coming to the party” (singular verb) and “Everyone brought their own food” (plural verb). In the first sentence, “everyone” is treated as a single entity, so the verb “is” is in the singular form. In the second sentence, “everyone” is treated as a group of people, so the verb “brought” is in the plural form.
In conclusion, understanding subject-verb agreement is essential for any writer. Inconsistencies in subject-verb agreement can make your writing unclear and difficult to read, and also lead to grammatical errors. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to this concept and to use it correctly in your writing. With these simple notes, you can easily avoid common mistakes and improve your writing skills.