Learning English grammar can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to subject-verb agreement. However, mastering this grammatical rule is essential for clear communication and effective writing. In this article, we will explore the basics of subject-verb agreement and provide tips for improving your skills.
What is subject-verb agreement?
Subject-verb agreement refers to the agreement in number between the subject and verb in a sentence. In other words, the verb must agree with the number of the subject. For example, if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular.
– The cat purrs. (singular subject, singular verb)
– The cats purr. (plural subject, plural verb)
Common errors in subject-verb agreement
One of the most common errors in subject-verb agreement is when a subject and verb do not match in number. Here are some examples of common errors:
– Incorrect: The group of students is excited for their field trip. (singular verb with a plural subject)
– Correct: The group of students are excited for their field trip. (plural verb with a plural subject)
– Incorrect: Each of the books are interesting. (plural verb with a singular subject)
– Correct: Each of the books is interesting. (singular verb with a singular subject)
– Incorrect: The news are not good. (plural verb with a singular noun)
– Correct: The news is not good. (singular verb with a singular noun)
Tips for improving subject-verb agreement skills
Here are some tips for improving your subject-verb agreement skills:
1. Identify the subject and verb in a sentence. This will help you determine whether they agree in number.
2. Pay attention to collective nouns. Collective nouns, such as group, team, and family, can be singular or plural depending on context. Make sure the verb matches the number of the noun in the sentence.
3. Watch out for compound subjects. When two or more subjects are connected by “and,” the verb should be plural.
4. Remember to use singular verbs with singular nouns, and plural verbs with plural nouns.
5. Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice subject-verb agreement, the more natural it will become.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of English grammar. It can be challenging, but with practice and attention to detail, anyone can improve their skills. By following the tips outlined above, you can confidently use correct subject-verb agreement in your writing and communication.