Subject-verb agreement is a crucial component of good writing. It refers to the proper matching of the subject with its corresponding verb form in a sentence. This involves ensuring that the tense and number of the verb match with the subject of the sentence.
The subject is the noun or pronoun that refers to the person, thing, or concept that is performing the action. The verb, on the other hand, is the action word that describes what the subject is doing.
Here are some basic rules for subject-verb agreement:
1. Singular subjects require singular verbs: For example, “He runs fast” and “She walks slowly.”
2. Plural subjects require plural verbs: For example, “They run fast” and “We walk slowly.”
3. Subjects that are joined by “and” require a plural verb: For example, “Tom and Jerry are good friends.”
4. Singular subjects that are joined by “or” or “nor” require a singular verb: For example, “Either the cat or the dog is responsible for the mess.”
5. When the subject is a collective noun, the verb can be either singular or plural depending on the context of the sentence. For example, “The team is celebrating their victory” or “The team are celebrating their victory.” Both are correct depending on whether you consider the team as a single unit or a collection of individuals.
6. Subjects that express amounts of something can be tricky. When the subject expresses a quantity, such as “a lot,” “many,” or “few,” the verb should agree with the noun that follows it. For example, “Many of the students are going to the party” and “A lot of the food is still left.”
Proper subject-verb agreement is essential for clear and effective communication. A sentence with incorrect subject-verb agreement can be confusing and may convey a different meaning from what the writer intended. Additionally, search engines may penalize content that includes errors in subject-verb agreement, as it affects the readability and credibility of the content.
In conclusion, as a professional, it is important to pay close attention to subject-verb agreement when editing content. By ensuring that the subject and verb match in number and tense, you can help to ensure that the content is clear, effective, and optimized for search engines.