The Rules of Subject Verb Agreement and Give Examples in Each Rule

Subject-verb agreement is an essential grammar rule that English speakers must follow. Failure to abide by this rule can result in awkward or confusing sentences, which can negatively impact the overall quality of the text. Whether you are writing an academic paper, a blog post, or a social media update, it is crucial to understand the basics of subject-verb agreement to create clear, concise, and effective communication.

Here are some of the essential rules of subject-verb agreement and examples to help you understand the concept better:

1. Singular subject requires a singular verb.

Example: The cat chases the mouse (cat is singular, and chases is the singular verb).

2. Plural subjects require plural verbs.

Example: The dogs bark at the mailman (dogs is plural, and bark is the plural verb).

3. «Either» and «neither» are singular subjects that require a singular verb.

Example: Neither the company nor the employees were happy with the decision (neither is singular, and were is the singular verb).

4. «Or» subjects take on the number (singular or plural) of the word closest to the verb.

Example: Neither the cat nor the dogs are big fans of the rain (dogs is plural, so the verb are is also plural).

5. «And» subjects are plural and require a plural verb.

Example: John and Jane are going to the festival (John and Jane are plural, and are is the plural verb).

6. Collective nouns are singular and require a singular verb.

Example: The team is celebrating their victory (team is singular, and is the singular verb).

7. Indefinite pronouns (such as «some,» «any,» «every,» and «none») may be singular or plural, depending on the context.

Example: Some of the pizza is cold (some is singular, so is the verb). OR Some of the toppings are missing (toppings is plural, so are is the verb).

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is a fundamental grammar rule that writers must master to communicate effectively. The rules mentioned above are just a few of the many rules that govern subject-verb agreement. By following these basic guidelines, you can ensure that your writing is comprehensible, professional, and grammatically correct.