Subject-verb agreement is one of the fundamental rules of the English language, yet it is still a common source of error in writing. The basic idea is simple: the subject of a sentence and the verb should agree in number. In other words, if the subject is singular, the verb should be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb should be plural.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
– The dog runs in the park.
– The dogs run in the park.
In the first sentence, the subject is “dog,” which is singular. The verb also needs to be singular, so we use the present tense verb “runs.” In the second sentence, the subject is “dogs,” which is plural. The verb needs to be plural as well, so we use the present tense verb “run.”
It’s important to note that subject-verb agreement applies to all types of sentences, including questions, commands, and statements in the past, present, and future tenses.
Here are some additional examples:
– She studies for her exams every day.
– They study for their exams every day.
– Did he finish his homework?
– Did they finish their homework?
– The company was founded in 2005.
– The companies were founded in 2005.
One common mistake when it comes to subject-verb agreement is when the subject is separated from the verb by other words, such as prepositional phrases. In these cases, it’s important to identify the actual subject of the sentence and make sure it agrees with the verb.
– The book on the table is mine.
– The books on the table are mine.
In the first sentence, “book” is the subject, not “table.” Therefore, the verb needs to agree with “book” and be singular. In the second sentence, “books” is the subject, so the verb needs to be plural.
Another common mistake is with compound subjects, or when two or more subjects are connected by “and.” In this case, the verb needs to be plural to agree with the multiple subjects.
– John and Sarah are going to the movies.
– The cat and the dog are playing in the yard.
When it comes to subject-verb agreement, it’s important to pay attention to the number of the subject and ensure that the verb agrees with it. Consistently following this rule will help you to write clear and concise sentences that are grammatically correct and easy to understand.