What Is Subject Verb Agreement with Example

Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental rule of grammar that ensures that the subject of a sentence agrees with the verb used. This means that a singular subject requires a singular verb, while a plural subject requires a plural verb. Subject-verb agreement is crucial to proper communication, as it ensures clarity and coherence in writing. In this article, we will explore the basics of subject-verb agreement and provide some examples to help you understand how it works.

Singular subjects and verbs

A singular subject refers to only one person, place, thing or idea. A singular verb is used when the subject is singular. For example, consider the following sentences:

– The girl plays the piano.

– The cat chases the mouse.

– The book is on the table.

In each of these sentences, the subject is singular, and the verb used is also singular. The word „plays” is used with the singular subject „girl,” „chases” is used with the singular subject „cat,” and „is” is used with the singular subject „book.”

Plural subjects and verbs

A plural subject refers to more than one person, place, thing or idea. A plural verb is used when the subject is plural. For example, consider the following sentences:

– The girls play the piano.

– The cats chase the mice.

– The books are on the table.

In each of these sentences, the subject is plural, and the verb used is also plural. The word „play” is used with the plural subject „girls,” „chase” is used with the plural subject „cats,” and „are” is used with the plural subject „books.”

Subject-verb agreement with compound subjects

A compound subject refers to two or more subjects that are joined by a conjunction. When the conjunction is „and,” the compound subject is plural, and a plural verb is used. For example:

– The boy and the girl play the piano.

In this sentence, the compound subject „the boy and the girl” is connected by „and,” so a plural verb „play” is used.

When the conjunction is „or” or „nor,” the verb agrees with the subject closest to it. For example:

– Neither the boy nor the girl plays the piano.

– Either the boy or the girl plays the piano.

In the first sentence, „nor” connects the subject „the boy” and „the girl,” so a singular verb „plays” is used because „girl” is the subject closest to the verb. In the second sentence, „or” connects the subject „the boy” and „the girl,” so a singular verb „plays” is used because „boy” is the subject closest to the verb.

Conclusion

In summary, subject-verb agreement is a basic rule of grammar that ensures proper communication and eliminates confusion in writing. It is important to always use the appropriate verb form when writing, based on the number of the subject. A singular subject requires a singular verb, while a plural subject requires a plural verb. By understanding and applying subject-verb agreement, you can improve the clarity and effectiveness of your writing.

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