Subject-verb agreement is a vital aspect of English grammar. It refers to the proper matching of the subject and verb in a sentence. A subject is the noun, pronoun, or phrase that performs an action in a sentence. On the other hand, verbs represent the action, existence, or occurrence of the subject.
Subject-verb agreement may seem like a simple concept, but it can be challenging to master, particularly for non-native English speakers. This is why subject-verb agreement training is essential to improve one`s writing skills and communication abilities.
Here are some tips to help you understand subject-verb agreement:
1. Identify the subject in the sentence
The first step to ensure subject-verb agreement is to identify the subject in the sentence. The subject can be a noun, pronoun, or phrase that the sentence is about. It usually comes before the verb.
For example, in the sentence “The cat is sleeping,” the subject is “the cat,” and the verb is “is sleeping.” Notice how the subject and verb match in number and person.
2. Understand singular and plural subjects
Singular subjects refer to one person or thing, while plural subjects refer to more than one person or thing. The verb form differs depending on whether the subject is singular or plural.
For example, in the sentence “The boy plays soccer,” the subject “boy” is singular, and the verb “plays” is also singular. In the sentence “The boys play soccer,” the subject “boys” is plural, and the verb “play” is also plural.
3. Check for subject-verb agreement in compound subjects
When two or more subjects are joined by “and,” the verb should be plural.
For example, in the sentence “The cat and the dog are sleeping,” the subjects “cat” and “dog” are joined by “and,” and the verb “are” is plural.
4. Be careful with collective nouns
Collective nouns refer to a group of people or things. They can be singular or plural, depending on whether the group is considered as a single entity or as individuals.
For example, in the sentence “The team is playing well,” the collective noun “team” is considered as a single entity, so the verb “is playing” is singular. In the sentence “The team are arguing among themselves,” the collective noun “team” is considered as individuals, so the verb “are arguing” is plural.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is a crucial aspect of English grammar that can significantly impact the clarity and effectiveness of your writing. By following these tips and undergoing subject-verb agreement training, you can improve your writing skills and communicate more effectively.