Subject Verb Agreement and Their Rules

Subject-verb agreement is a crucial aspect of English grammar that many writers often overlook. However, it plays a significant role in ensuring that your writing is clear, concise, and easy to read.

Subject-verb agreement refers to the proper matching of a subject with its corresponding verb. This means that the verb in a sentence should agree with the number and person of the subject. For example, if the subject is singular, the verb should be in singular form, and if the subject is plural, the verb should be in plural form.

Here are some essential rules of subject-verb agreement that you need to keep in mind:

1. Singular subject and singular verb

When the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular. Example: The cat chases the mouse.

2. Plural subject and plural verb

When the subject is plural, the verb should also be plural. Example: The cats chase the mice.

3. Collective nouns

These nouns represent a group of individuals but are singular in form. In this case, the verb should also be singular. Example: The orchestra plays beautiful music.

4. Indefinite pronouns

These pronouns refer to individuals in general and are usually singular. However, some of them can be both singular and plural, depending on the context. Example: Everyone is responsible for their own actions.

5. Compound subjects

When two or more subjects are joined by the conjunction ‘and,’ the verb should be plural. Example: John and Jane are going to the movies.

6. Compound subjects with singular meaning

When two or more singular subjects are joined by ‘or,’ ‘nor,’ or ‘either…or,’ the verb should be singular. Example: Neither the cat nor the dog likes the rain.

7. Indefinite expressions

These expressions are usually singular, and the verb should also be singular. Example: Each of the students has to submit their assignment.

8. Titles, names, and words as subjects

When a title, a name, or a word is used as a subject, the verb should match its number. Example: The Beatles were a popular band in the 1960s.

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is a fundamental concept in English grammar that should not be ignored. By following these rules, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and easy to read. As a copy editor, it is crucial to pay close attention to subject-verb agreement to produce high-quality content that meets SEO standards.