Some Questions of Subject Verb Agreement

Subject-verb agreement is a crucial aspect of writing. It ensures that the subject and verb in a sentence are in harmony, making the sentence grammatically correct and easy to understand. However, for many writers, subject-verb agreement can be challenging to master. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common questions about subject-verb agreement.

1. What is subject-verb agreement?

Subject-verb agreement refers to the relationship between the subject of a sentence and the verb that follows it. A sentence is grammatically correct when the subject and verb agree in number, meaning that a singular subject takes a singular verb while a plural subject takes a plural verb.

2. What happens when the subject is a collective noun?

A collective noun refers to a group of people, animals, or things. Examples of collective nouns include team, family, herd, and group. When a collective noun is used as the subject of a sentence, it can be tricky to determine whether to use a singular or plural verb. The rule of thumb is to consider whether the collective noun is acting as a single unit or as separate individuals. For example, “The team is playing well” (a single unit) or “The team are discussing their strategy” (separate individuals).

3. What if there are multiple subjects in a sentence?

When there are multiple subjects in a sentence joined by `and`, the verb should be plural. For example, “John and Jane are going to the party.” However, when the subjects are connected by “or” or “nor”, the verb should agree with the subject closest to it. For example, “Neither John nor Jane is going to the party.”

4. What if the subject is a singular noun ending in `s`?

When the subject is a singular noun ending in `s`, it can be challenging to decide whether to add an apostrophe and `s` or just an `s` to show possession. In subject-verb agreement terms, you can use `s` without the apostrophe. For example, “The bus driver drives the bus.”

5. What about indefinite pronouns?

Indefinite pronouns such as everyone, somebody, anybody, and nobody are always singular. For example, “Everybody is welcome at the party.”

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is vital in writing, and it is essential to understand its rules. The above questions are just a few examples of the many questions that can arise when dealing with subject-verb agreement. By keeping these rules in mind and practicing regularly, writers can enhance their writing skills and create error-free content.

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