Subject-verb agreement is an essential rule in English grammar that ensures that the subject and verb of a sentence match in number. When the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular, and when the subject is plural, the verb should be plural as well. This rule is essential for clear and effective communication.
Here are some subject-verb agreement rules to keep in mind:
1. A singular subject takes a singular verb.
Example: The dog barks loudly in the backyard.
2. A plural subject takes a plural verb.
Example: The dogs bark loudly in the backyard.
3. When indefinite pronouns (such as everyone, anybody, someone, etc.) are used as subjects, they are always singular and require a singular verb.
Example: Everyone is responsible for their behavior.
4. When two or more singular nouns or pronouns are joined by “and,” they form a plural subject and require a plural verb.
Example: The horse and the cow graze in the field.
5. When two or more singular subjects are connected by “or” or “nor,” the verb agrees with the closest subject.
Example: Neither the cat nor the dog likes to be left alone.
Now that you understand the rules of subject-verb agreement, it`s time to practice. Here are some exercises to help you improve your skills:
1. Identify whether the following sentence is correct or incorrect based on subject-verb agreement rules.
The flowers in the garden smells lovely.
Answer: Incorrect. “Flowers” is plural, so the verb should also be plural. The correct sentence is “The flowers in the garden smell lovely.”
2. Choose the correct verb to complete the following sentence based on subject-verb agreement rules.
Neither the teacher nor the students _____ interested in the topic.
Answer: a) is. “Neither” is a singular word that requires a singular verb, “is.”
3. Identify the correct sentence based on subject-verb agreement rules.
a) The group of friends enjoy playing board games together.
b) The group of friends enjoys playing board games together.
Answer: b) The group of friends enjoys playing board games together. “Group” is a singular noun, so it should be paired with a singular verb, “enjoys.”
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is essential for effective communication in English. By following these rules and practicing with exercises, you can improve your writing and speaking skills. Always remember to match your subjects and verbs in number to ensure clear and concise communication.