Subject-verb agreement is a crucial aspect of writing that determines the grammatical correctness of a sentence. It refers to the match between the subject and the verb in a sentence, which dictates the proper use of tense and number. In simpler terms, it means that the verb should agree with the subject in terms of number and person.
The basic rule of subject-verb agreement is that a singular subject takes a singular verb, and a plural subject takes a plural verb. For instance, „The dog barks” is a correct sentence because „dog” is singular, and „barks” is a singular verb. On the other hand, „The dogs bark” is also correct because „dogs” is plural, and „bark” is a plural verb.
However, some cases of subject-verb agreement are more complex than others. For example, when there is a compound subject, which means two or more subjects joined by „and,” it takes a plural verb. For instance, „Lucy and John are dancing” is correct because „Lucy and John” is a compound subject, and „are” is a plural verb.
Another case of subject-verb agreement is with indefinite pronouns, which are pronouns that do not refer to a specific person or thing. These pronouns, such as „someone,” „anyone,” and „everyone,” are always singular, and they require a singular verb. For example, „Someone is knocking at the door” is correct because „someone” is singular, and „is” is a singular verb.
In addition, subject-verb agreement is critical when using collective nouns, which are words that refer to a group of people or things as a single entity. Collective nouns, such as „team,” „class,” and „jury,” can be singular or plural, depending on the context of the sentence. For instance, „The team is playing well” is correct because „team” is singular, while „The team are arguing over the decision” is also correct because „team” is being referred to as individuals.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is an important rule to follow in writing to ensure grammatical accuracy. It requires careful attention to the number and person of the subject and the verb to form a grammatically correct sentence. By following these rules, writers can improve the clarity and coherence of their writing and convey their message effectively to their readers.