Basic Rules for Subject Verb Agreement

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Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental grammar rule that ensures clarity and accuracy in writing. When the subject and verb in a sentence do not agree in number, it can cause confusion and make the writing difficult to understand.

To help you avoid such mistakes, here are some basic rules to follow when it comes to subject-verb agreement:

1. Singular subjects take singular verbs, and plural subjects take plural verbs. For example:

– The cat is sleeping.

– The cats are sleeping.

2. When the subject consists of two or more singular nouns joined by „and,“ use a plural verb. For example:

– John and Mary are coming to the party.

3. When the subject consists of two or more singular nouns joined by „or,“ use a singular verb that agrees with the nearer subject. For example:

– Either John or Mary is coming to the party.

4. When the subject consists of a singular noun and a plural noun joined by „or“ or „nor,“ the verb should agree with the noun closest to it. For example:

– Neither the teacher nor the students are happy with the new schedule.

5. Collective nouns, such as team, group, or family, can take either a singular or plural verb, depending on whether the emphasis is on the group as a whole or the individual members. For example:

– The team is excited about their upcoming game. (emphasis on the group as a whole)

– The team are all wearing their matching jerseys. (emphasis on the individual members)

6. Indefinite pronouns, such as everyone, somebody, or each, always take a singular verb. For example:

– Everyone wants to be happy.

By following these basic rules, you can ensure that your writing is clear and grammatically correct. Remember, subject-verb agreement is an essential component of good writing, and mastering it will help you communicate your ideas effectively.