As a copy editor, one of the most crucial elements of writing is the verb. Without it, a sentence lacks the backbone it needs to convey meaning effectively. However, it`s not enough to simply include verbs in your writing – you must also ensure that they agree with their subjects. This concept is known as subject-verb agreement, and it`s a crucial element of grammar that can make or break the effectiveness of your writing – especially when it comes to SEO.
At its core, subject-verb agreement is a simple concept: the verb must agree with its subject in terms of number and person. In other words, if the subject is singular, the verb must be singular as well. If the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural. For example, “The cat eats fish” is correct because the singular subject “cat” agrees with the singular verb “eats.” Conversely, “The cats eat fish” is also correct because the plural subject “cats” agrees with the plural verb “eat.”
However, subject-verb agreement can become more complicated when you introduce more complex sentence structures. For example, when there is a compound subject, the verb must agree with the combined subject as a whole rather than each individual subject. This means that “The cat and the dog eats fish” is incorrect – the singular verb “eats” should be replaced with the plural verb “eat” to agree with the plural compound subject “cat and dog.”
Another common issue with subject-verb agreement is when the subject is separated from the verb by a long phrase or clause. In these cases, it can be easy to lose track of the subject and inadvertently use the wrong verb form. For example, “Running every day, the athletes develops strong legs” is incorrect – the plural subject “athletes” should agree with the plural verb “develop” rather than the singular “develops.”
So why is subject-verb agreement so important for SEO? In short, search engines rely on clear, well-written content to determine the relevance and quality of a webpage. Poor grammar and incorrect subject-verb agreement can make your content difficult to understand, which both human readers and search engine crawlers will take as a sign of low quality. Additionally, if you`re targeting specific keywords in your content, using the wrong verb form can throw off search algorithms that are looking for exact matches.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is an essential element of good writing that can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your content. As an SEO copy editor, it`s your job to ensure that the verbs in your content agree with their subjects in terms of number and person. By doing so, you`ll not only improve the readability and clarity of your writing, but you`ll also boost your search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your website.