Subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of writing that ensures that your sentences are grammatically correct and coherent. It is important to understand the rules of subject-verb agreement to avoid creating awkward and confusing sentences. To help you master the art of subject-verb agreement, we have provided some simple rules and a worksheet for you to practice on.
Rule 1: Singular Subjects take Singular Verbs
The basic rule of subject-verb agreement is that a singular subject requires a singular verb, while a plural subject requires a plural verb. For example, “The cat sleeps on the mat” is correct since “cat” is a singular subject, and “sleeps” is a singular verb.
Rule 2: Plural Subjects take Plural Verbs
Similarly, plural subjects require plural verbs. For instance, “The cats sleep on the mat” is accurate since “cats” is a plural subject, and “sleep” is a plural verb.
Rule 3: Collective Nouns can be Singular or Plural
A collective noun is a singular noun that refers to a group of people or things. Collective nouns can be singular or plural, depending on how they are used in a sentence. For example, “The team is practicing” is correct since “team” is a collective noun functioning as a singular subject. However, “The team are fighting amongst themselves” is also correct since the collective noun “team” functions as a plural subject.
Rule 4: Indefinite Pronouns can be Singular or Plural
Indefinite pronouns, such as everyone, someone, anybody, and nobody, can be singular or plural, depending on the context of the sentence. For example, “Everybody knows the truth” is correct since “everybody” is a singular indefinite pronoun, and “knows” is a singular verb. But “Somebody stole my wallet” is also correct since “somebody” is a singular indefinite pronoun, and “stole” is a singular verb.
To practice subject-verb agreement, complete the following worksheet.
1. The dog ________(barks/bark) at the mailman every day.
2. The birds in the trees ________(sings/sing) a beautiful melody.
3. My mom and dad ________(is/are) coming to visit me next week.
4. The money on the table ________(belongs/belong) to my brother.
5. Each of the boys ________(has/have) a different talent.
Subject-verb agreement is crucial in ensuring that your writing is grammatically correct and conveys your intended meaning. By following the simple rules outlined above and practicing the worksheet, you can improve your writing and avoid common mistakes. Remember, the key to mastering subject-verb agreement is paying close attention to the relationship between the subject and the verb in your sentences.