Grammar Subject and Verb Agreement

Grammar Subject and Verb Agreement: Why it Matters and How to Get it Right

As a copy editor, one of the most important rules I follow is ensuring subject and verb agreement. This may seem like a basic rule of grammar, but it is crucial to ensuring clear and effective communication in your writing. In this article, we will explore why subject and verb agreement matters and provide some tips to help you get it right.

What is Subject and Verb Agreement?

Subject and verb agreement is a grammatical rule that states that the subject of a sentence, which is usually a noun or pronoun, must agree with the verb in number. In simpler terms, if the subject of the sentence is singular, the verb must be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb must be plural as well.

Why Subject and Verb Agreement Matters?

Subject and verb agreement matters because it helps to make your writing clear and easy to understand. If the subject and verb do not agree, it can lead to confusion and ambiguity. For example, consider the following sentence:

“The group of students is going to the park.”

In this sentence, the subject is “group,” which is singular. Therefore, the verb “is” is also singular. If we were to change the verb to “are,” it would create confusion and make the sentence harder to understand.

Another reason why subject and verb agreement matters is that it can impact your credibility as a writer. If your writing is riddled with grammatical errors, it can create the impression that you are not knowledgeable or professional.

Tips to Get Subject and Verb Agreement Right

Now that we know why subject and verb agreement matters, let`s look at some tips to help you get it right.

1. Identify the subject of the sentence

The first step to getting subject and verb agreement right is to identify the subject of the sentence. This is usually a noun or pronoun, and it can be singular or plural.

2. Determine the number of the subject

Once you have identified the subject, determine whether it is singular or plural. This will determine the number of the verb that you should use.

3. Make the verb agree with the subject

Finally, ensure that the verb agrees with the number of the subject. If the subject is singular, use a singular verb. If the subject is plural, use a plural verb.

For example, consider the following sentence:

“The dogs bark loudly.”

In this sentence, “dogs” is the subject, which is plural. Therefore, the verb “bark” is also plural. If we were to change the verb to “barks,” it would be incorrect because it does not agree with the subject.

Conclusion

Subject and verb agreement is a fundamental rule of grammar that is essential for clear communication. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and easy to understand. Remember to identify the subject, determine its number, and make the verb agree with it. With practice, subject and verb agreement will become second nature, and you will be able to write with confidence and clarity.

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