Example of Subject Verb Agreement Rules

Subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of grammar that determines the correct use of nouns and verbs in a sentence. It involves ensuring that the subject of a sentence agrees with the verb used in terms of number and singular/plural form. Incorrect subject-verb agreement can lead to confusion and affect the overall readability of a text. Therefore, it`s crucial to understand the rules for subject-verb agreement. In this article, we will discuss various examples of subject-verb agreement rules that can help you improve your writing.

1. Singular subject and singular verb

The most basic subject-verb agreement rule is that a singular subject requires a singular verb, while a plural subject takes a plural verb. For instance,

– The bird sings sweetly.

– The child runs in the park.

– The tree provides shade.

In these examples, the singular subject (bird, child, and tree) is paired with a singular verb (sings, runs, and provides, respectively).

2. Plural subject and plural verb

Similarly, when the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural. For example,

– The birds sing sweetly.

– The children run in the park.

– The trees provide shade.

Here, the plural subjects (birds, children, and trees) are matched with plural verbs (sing, run, and provide).

3. Collective nouns

Sometimes, a collective noun can refer to a group of individuals as a single unit, making it tricky to determine whether the subject is singular or plural. In such cases, the verb should agree with the sense in which the collective noun is used. For instance,

– The team is playing well. (singular verb, as the team is acting as a single entity)

– The team members are playing well. (plural verb, as each team member is acting individually)

4. Compound subjects

When there are two or more subjects in a sentence, the verb must agree with the subject closest to it. For example,

– Bacon and eggs are a tasty breakfast.

– The cat and the dog chase each other around the yard.

In these sentences, both bacon and eggs and the cat and the dog are compound subjects that require plural verbs.

5. Indefinite pronouns

Indefinite pronouns such as everyone, nobody, someone, and anybody are always singular and require singular verbs. For example,

– Everyone loves pizza.

– Nobody likes spiders.

– Someone left their jacket behind.

In the last sentence, the pronoun their is used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun to avoid using he or she.

In conclusion, understanding the rules for subject-verb agreement is crucial for writing clear and effective sentences. By following these examples and practicing regularly, you can sharpen your skills and improve the quality of your writing.