When it comes to writing in English, one of the most important aspects is ensuring that the subject and verb in a sentence agree with one another. This creates clear and concise communication and avoids confusion for the reader. In this article, we’ll explore some agreement examples in sentences, and how to identify and correct errors.
In its simplest form, subject-verb agreement simply means that the subject and verb in a sentence must agree in number. If the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural.
– The cat purrs. (singular subject and verb)
– The cats purr. (plural subject and verb)
In the first sentence, “cat” is a singular subject, and “purrs” is a singular verb. In the second sentence, “cats” is a plural subject, and “purr” is a plural verb.
When a sentence has a compound subject (two or more subjects joined by “and”), the verb must be plural.
– The dog and the cat play. (compound subject with plural verb)
In this sentence, both “dog” and “cat” are subjects (joined by “and”), so the verb “play” is plural to agree with both subjects.
Indefinite pronouns, such as “everyone,” “somebody,” and “everything,” can also be difficult when it comes to subject-verb agreement. These pronouns are typically singular, so the verb must also be singular.
– Everyone is happy. (singular indefinite pronoun with singular verb)
– Somebody left their jacket here. (singular indefinite pronoun with plural verb)
In the second sentence, the pronoun “somebody” is singular, but the verb “left” is plural. This is incorrect and should be corrected to “Somebody left his or her jacket here” or “Somebody left their jacket here” (using the singular “their” as a gender-neutral pronoun).
Some verbs are simply irregular and do not follow the normal rules for subject-verb agreement.
– She sings beautifully. (singular subject with irregular verb)
– They have been going to the gym every day. (plural subject with irregular verb)
In the first sentence, “she” is a singular subject, but the verb “sings” is irregular and does not follow the normal rule for singular verbs. In the second sentence, “they” is a plural subject, but the verb “have been going” is irregular and does not follow the normal rule for plural verbs.
In summary, subject-verb agreement is an important aspect of clear and concise communication in English writing. By understanding the basic rules, as well as some of the more complex examples, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and easy to understand. Always make sure to proofread your writing for errors and ask for a second opinion if necessary. Happy writing!