Subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of grammar that is often overlooked. It refers to the agreement between the subject and verb in a sentence in terms of their number and person. A subject-verb agreement error occurs when the subject and verb in a sentence do not agree, leading to grammatical errors, which can affect the clarity and readability of your writing.
For instance, consider the following sentence: “The group of students was excited as they gets ready for the field trip.” In this sentence, the subject is “the group of students,” which is singular. However, the verb “gets” is plural. This creates a subject-verb agreement error. The sentence should read, “The group of students was excited as they got ready for the field trip.”
Subject-verb agreement errors can occur when the subject and verb are separated by a phrase or clause. When this happens, it`s imperative to identify the subject to ensure that the verb agrees in number and person. For example, “The book, along with the pen, were left on the table.” In this sentence, the subject is singular (“the book”). However, the verb “were” is plural. The correct sentence should read, “The book, along with the pen, was left on the table.”
Another common mistake occurs when a singular subject and a plural subject are joined by “or” or “nor.” In such cases, the verb must agree with the subject closest to it. For example, “Neither the teacher nor the students were happy with the test.” In this sentence, the subject closest to the verb (“students”) is plural. Therefore, the verb “were” is correct.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement errors may seem minor, but they can negatively impact the overall quality of your writing. Therefore, it`s essential to pay close attention when writing to ensure that your subjects and verbs are in agreement. By following the rules of subject-verb agreement, you can improve the clarity and readability of your writing.