Subject Verb Agreement Parts

Subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of writing in English. It is a rule that dictates that the subject and the verb in a sentence should agree in number. The subject of a sentence is the person, place, thing, or idea that the sentence is about, while the verb is the action or state of being that is performed by the subject. For instance, in the sentence „The dog runs in the park,“ „dog“ is the subject, and „runs“ is the verb.

However, subject-verb agreement becomes tricky when the subject is made up of different parts. This often happens when the subject is modified by a phrase or a clause, or when it is composed of a group of nouns or pronouns. In this article, we will explore some of the common subject-verb agreement parts and how to ensure they match.

1. Compound subjects

Compound subjects are subjects that consist of two or more nouns or pronouns joined by a conjunction such as „and“ or „or.“ When the compound subject is joined by „and,“ it is considered plural, and the verb should agree with it. For example, „The cat and the dog run in the park.“ Conversely, when the compound subject is joined by „or,“ „either…or,“ or „neither…nor,“ the verb should agree with the subject closest to it. For instance, „Neither the cat nor the dog chases mice.“

2. Indefinite pronouns

Indefinite pronouns are pronouns that do not refer to a specific person, place, or thing. Examples of indefinite pronouns include „anyone,“ „everyone,“ „someone,“ „nobody,“ „everything,“ and „nothing.“ When these pronouns are used as the subject of a sentence, they are singular, and the verb should match. For example, „Everyone is welcome to the party.“

3. Collective nouns

Collective nouns are nouns that refer to a group of people or things. Examples of collective nouns include „team,“ „family,“ „committee,“ „audience,“ and „group.“ When these nouns are used as the subject of a sentence, they can be either singular or plural, depending on the context. For instance, „The family is going on a vacation“ (singular) versus „The family members are arguing over dinner“ (plural).

4. Prepositional phrases

Prepositional phrases are phrases that start with a preposition and end with a noun or pronoun. These phrases often act as modifiers to the subject of a sentence. When a prepositional phrase follows the subject, it does not affect the subject-verb agreement. For example, „The dog in the park runs smoothly.“ However, when a prepositional phrase is placed between the subject and the verb, it can become confusing. In this case, writers should identify the subject and match it with the verb. For example, „The group of girls in the park runs smoothly.“

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is crucial in writing clear, concise, and grammatically correct sentences. Understanding the different subject-verb agreement parts, such as compound subjects, indefinite pronouns, collective nouns, and prepositional phrases, can help writers to avoid common mistakes and ensure their sentences sound natural and professional. By mastering this rule, writers can create effective and persuasive content that engages readers and meets their needs.