Subject-verb agreement is an essential rule in English grammar that deals with the correct pairing of the subject and verb in a sentence. This rule ensures that the sentence structure is consistent and understandable.
Rule Number 1 of subject-verb agreement states that a singular subject must take a singular verb, and a plural subject must take a plural verb. This rule is straightforward, but it can get tricky when dealing with compound subjects. Let`s take a closer look at some examples to understand this rule better.
The dog barks loudly at night. (singular subject takes a singular verb)
The dogs bark loudly at night. (plural subject takes a plural verb)
My sister and I are going to the movies. (compound subject takes a plural verb)
The teacher and coach is in the conference room. (incorrect – subject and verb do not agree)
The teacher and the coach are in the conference room. (correct – compound subject takes a plural verb)
Neither the students nor the teacher is happy about the test. (singular verb agrees with the singular subject `teacher`)
Neither the teacher nor the students are happy about the test. (plural verb agrees with the plural subject `students`)
As we can see from the examples above, subject-verb agreement is crucial for clear and effective communication. In some cases, we may have to identify the singular or plural nature of the subject to determine the correct verb form.
Furthermore, when dealing with compound subjects, we need to use plural verbs when the subjects are connected by `and` and singular verbs when connected by `or` or `nor.` Sometimes, neither…nor and either…or can be confusing, but we need to pay attention to the subject closer to the verb.
In conclusion, by following Rule Number 1 of subject-verb agreement, we can ensure that our writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct. This rule may seem simple, but it is essential to remember for effective communication.