Verb/Subject Agreement


Verbs and subjects must agree in number in order to maintain clarity and grammatical correctness. This is crucial not only for effective communication, but also for SEO optimization. In this article, we will discuss the essential rules for verb/subject agreement and how they make a difference in your writing.

First, let`s define what a subject and verb are. A subject is the noun or pronoun that performs the action of the sentence, while the verb is the action or state of being that the subject is performing. For example, in the sentence “The dog barks,” “dog” is the subject, and “barks” is the verb.

The basic rule for verb/subject agreement is that singular subjects take singular verbs, and plural subjects take plural verbs. For instance, “The cat meows” is correct because “cat” is singular, and “meows” is the singular verb that agrees with the subject. On the other hand, “The cats meow” is correct because “cats” is plural, and “meow” is the verb that agrees with the plural subject.

However, there are some exceptions that can be confusing for writers. One of these exceptions is the use of collective nouns. Collective nouns refer to a group of people or things, but they are singular in form. Examples of collective nouns include “team,” “family,” and “herd.” When using a collective noun as a subject, the verb should agree with the noun`s singular form. For example, “The team is playing well” is correct because “team” is a collective noun that is singular in form.

Another exception is the use of indefinite pronouns. Indefinite pronouns refer to people or things that are not specific or definite. Examples of indefinite pronouns include “everyone,” “anyone,” and “someone.” When using an indefinite pronoun as the subject, the verb should agree with the pronoun`s singular or plural meaning. For instance, “Everyone is welcome” is correct because “everyone” is considered singular, while “Some of the students are late” is correct because “students” is plural.

Lastly, there are some instances where the subject and verb appear to be in opposite number due to the presence of intervening words or phrases. These intervening words or phrases, known as interrupters, do not affect the number of the subject. For example, “The group of students, despite their differences, works well together” is correct because “group” is the subject, and “works” is the singular verb that agrees with it.

In conclusion, verb/subject agreement is a crucial aspect of effective communication and search engine optimization. By following the basic rule of singular and plural agreement, using collective nouns and indefinite pronouns correctly, and taking into account the presence of interrupters, your writing will be grammatically correct and optimized for search engines.