As a professional, one of the most important aspects of writing clear and effective content is subject-verb agreement. This grammatical rule can be tricky, even for experienced writers, but mastering it is crucial for creating coherent and easy-to-read text. Below, we`ll discuss 10 key rules for subject-verb agreement that will help you create professional and polished content.
1. Singular subjects require singular verbs.
The basic rule of subject-verb agreement is that singular subjects require singular verbs, while plural subjects require plural verbs. For example: ”The dog barks at the mail carrier.”
2. Plural subjects require plural verbs.
Similarly, when you have a plural subject, you’ll want to use a plural verb. For example: ”The cats meow at night.”
3. Subjects joined by ”and” require a plural verb.
When you have two or more subjects joined by ”and”, you`ll use a plural verb. For example: ”Amy and Michael are running late.”
4. Contractions are treated as singular.
When using contractions, such as ”doesn`t” or ”can`t”, the verb is treated as singular. For example: ”He doesn`t like spicy food.”
5. Indefinite pronouns require singular verbs.
Indefinite pronouns, such as ”everyone” or ”somebody”, require singular verbs. For example: ”Everyone is invited to the party.”
6. Collective nouns can be singular or plural.
Collective nouns, which refer to groups of people or things, can be treated as either singular or plural depending on the context. For example: ”The team is playing well.” vs. ”The team are arguing among themselves.”
7. Dependent clauses do not affect subject-verb agreement.
When you have a dependent clause in your sentence, it does not affect subject-verb agreement. For example: ”Although it was raining, the game went on as scheduled.”
8. Interjections do not affect subject-verb agreement.
Interjections, such as ”oh” or ”wow”, do not affect subject-verb agreement. For example: ”Wow, that movie was amazing!”
9. Prepositional phrases do not affect subject-verb agreement.
Prepositional phrases, such as ”in the morning” or ”on the table”, do not affect subject-verb agreement. For example: ”The cat on the table is cute.”
10. Compound subjects require plural verbs.
When you have a compound subject, or two subjects joined by ”or” or ”nor”, you`ll use a plural verb. For example: ”Either the car or the bike needs a tune-up.”
By keeping these 10 rules in mind, you can improve your subject-verb agreement and create clear, polished content that showcases your writing skills. When in doubt, it`s always best to double-check your grammar and make sure that your subjects and verbs match in both number and tense. With practice, you`ll build your confidence and become a pro at subject-verb agreement in no time!