Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental concept in English grammar that is often overlooked by writers. It refers to the usage of the correct form of the verb that agrees with the subject of the sentence. In simpler terms, it means that the verb should be in harmony with the noun or pronoun that it is referring to.
For example, let’s take the sentence “The dog barks loudly.” In this sentence, the subject, which is “the dog,” is singular. Thus, the verb, “barks,” also needs to be in singular form. If we were to use the plural form of the verb, “bark,” it would not agree with the singular subject, and the sentence would be grammatically incorrect.
Another example of subject-verb agreement is “She plays the piano beautifully.” In this sentence, the subject, “she,” is singular, and the verb, “plays,” is also in singular form. If we were to use the plural form of the verb, “play,” it would not agree with the singular subject, and the sentence would be incorrect.
It is essential to keep subject-verb agreement in mind when writing sentences, as errors in this area can lead to confusion and misconceptions. A common mistake made by writers is when the subject is a collective noun, such as “team” or “group,” and the writer mistakenly treats it as a singular noun, leading to errors in verb usage. For example, “The team is playing well” is correct, while “The team are playing well” is not.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is crucial in any piece of writing. It is important to ensure that the verb used in a sentence corresponds to the subject being discussed, whether it is singular or plural. It may seem like a trivial concept, but it can have a significant impact on how your writing is perceived. Therefore, always take some time to review your sentences and check for proper subject-verb agreement to ensure that your work is grammatically correct and easy to read.