Basic Rules of Subject Verb Agreement
When it comes to writing, there are a few basic rules that every writer should know. One of the most foundational aspects of writing is subject-verb agreement. For those who are new to the world of writing or are looking for a refresher, here are some basic rules of subject-verb agreement.
1. A singular subject requires a singular verb, and a plural subject requires a plural verb.
This is perhaps the most straightforward rule of subject-verb agreement. Just remember that every sentence must have a clear subject and verb, and they must agree in number.
– Singular subject and verb: The dog barks at the mailman every morning.
– Plural subject and verb: The dogs bark at the mailman every morning.
2. Compound subjects joined by “and” generally require a plural verb.
When two or more subjects are connected with “and,” they`re considered a plural subject, and you should use a plural verb.
– Compound subject and plural verb: Tom and Sarah are both attending the party tonight.
3. When “or/nor” connect two or more singular subjects, the verb should agree with the subject closest to it.
When using “or” or “nor” to connect multiple subjects, the verb should agree with the closest subject.
– “Neither John nor his friends were at the party.” The verb `were` agrees with the plural subject `friends.`
4. Proper nouns that are plural but singular in meaning require singular verbs.
When referring to a singular entity, such as a company or team, even when the name is plural, it requires a singular verb.
– Singular verb with a plural noun: Microsoft is releasing a new version of Windows.
– Plural verb with a plural noun: The Los Angeles Lakers were the champions last year.
5. Indefinite pronouns require singular or plural verbs based on their meaning.
Indefinite pronouns such as “everyone,” “somebody,” and “anybody” are considered singular subjects and require singular verbs.
– Singular verb with an indefinite pronoun: Everyone in the room was listening to the speaker.
Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental concept that every writer should know. By using these basic rules of subject-verb agreement, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and easy to read. With practice, these rules will become second nature, and you`ll be able to write with confidence and clarity.