When it comes to grammar, one of the most crucial aspects of writing is subject-verb agreement. This means that the subject of the sentence and the verb must be in agreement in terms of their number, whether they are singular or plural. Failure to use proper subject-verb agreement can result in confusion and make your writing less effective. In this article, we will discuss which sentence uses correct subject-verb agreement and offer tips to help you avoid common mistakes.
Let`s start with an example:
Incorrect: The group of students is excited about their field trip.
Correct: The group of students are excited about their field trip.
In this example, the subject is “group,” which is singular, and the verb “are” is plural. This is a common mistake, as people often assume that the verb should match the plural noun “students” instead of the singular noun “group.” However, the subject of the sentence is “group,” so the verb should agree with it, making the correct sentence “The group of students are excited about their field trip.”
Now, let`s take a look at another example:
Incorrect: The committee is divided on their decision.
Correct: The committee is divided on its decision.
In this case, the subject is “committee,” which is singular, and the verb “is” is also singular. However, the incorrect sentence uses the plural pronoun “their” instead of the singular pronoun “its.” Again, it`s important to remember that the subject and verb must agree in terms of their number and that using the correct pronoun is essential to achieving proper subject-verb agreement.
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind to avoid common subject-verb agreement mistakes:
– When dealing with collective nouns, such as “group,” “team,” or “committee,” consider whether the focus is on the group as a whole or on the individual members. If it`s on the group as a whole, use a singular verb. If it`s on the individual members, use a plural verb.
– Be careful when using compound subjects, which are two or more subjects joined by “and.” Use a plural verb when the subjects are both plural, and a singular verb when one subject is singular and the other is plural.
– Don`t be fooled by phrases that come between the subject and verb. The verb should still agree with the subject, regardless of any intervening words or phrases.
– Pay attention to indefinite pronouns, such as “everybody,” “nobody,” and “someone.” These pronouns are always singular, so use a singular verb with them.
– Finally, take the time to read your writing aloud or have someone else read it to you. This can help you identify any subject-verb agreement errors that you may have missed while writing.
In conclusion, proper subject-verb agreement is essential to effective writing and avoiding confusion. Remember to match the subject and verb in terms of their number, pay attention to pronouns, and be mindful of compound subjects and indefinite pronouns. By following these tips, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and easy to understand.