Subject-verb agreement is a crucial aspect of writing. It refers to the proper agreement between the subject and the verb in a sentence. The subject is the person, place, or thing that performs the action of the sentence, while the verb is the action that is being performed. In order to have a grammatically correct sentence, the subject and the verb must be in agreement.
Subject-verb agreement errors can happen when the subject and the verb do not agree in number. For example, if the subject is a singular noun, the verb must also be singular. Similarly, if the subject is a plural noun, the verb must also be plural. Here are some subject-verb agreement examples to help you understand the concept better:
Example 1: The dog chases the cat.
In this sentence, “dog” is the subject, and “chases” is the verb. Since “dog” is singular, the verb “chases” is also singular. If the sentence were to say “The dogs chase the cat,” it would be plural, and the verb “chase” would be used instead.
Example 2: The basketball team practices every day.
In this sentence, “team” is the subject, and “practices” is the verb. Since “team” is a collective noun, it can be singular or plural, depending on the context. In this case, the writer intends to refer to the whole team, so the verb “practices” is singular. If the writer had meant to refer to the individuals on the team, the sentence would be plural, and “practice” would be used instead.
Example 3: Neither the cat nor the dog likes dogs.
In this sentence, the subject is “neither” which is followed by two singular noun phrases, “the cat” and “the dog.” Since “neither” is singular, the verb “likes” is also singular. It is important to remember that when using “neither/nor” in a sentence, the verb should agree with the subject closest to it.
Example 4: The boys, as well as their teacher, were impressed with the performance.
In this sentence, the verb “were impressed” agrees with the plural noun, “boys” and not with the singular noun, “teacher.” This is because “as well as” is a phrase used to add more information about the subject and is not a part of the subject itself.
Subject-verb agreement errors can be a common mistake in writing. It is important to double-check your work and ensure that the subject and verb agree in number. By following these subject-verb agreement examples, you can improve the clarity and precision of your writing.