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Agreement for a Verb: The Importance of Subject-Verb Agreement in Writing

When it comes to writing, one of the most essential elements is ensuring proper agreement for a verb. Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental grammar principle that writers must adhere to, regardless of the type of writing.

Subject-verb agreement refers to the grammatical rule that a verb must agree with its subject in number. Simply put, if the subject is singular, the verb must be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb must be plural as well.

For example, consider the following sentences:

– The cat sits on the mat.

– The cats sit on the mat.

In the first sentence, the subject (cat) is singular, and the verb (sits) is also singular. In the second sentence, the subject (cats) is plural, and the verb (sit) is also plural.

Subject-verb agreement is not just about grammar correctness; it also helps to enhance the clarity and readability of writing. If the verb does not agree with the subject, it can create confusion for the reader, making it harder for them to understand the writer`s intended meaning.

To ensure proper subject-verb agreement, writers must know their subject`s number and ensure that the verb matches it. Here are some essential tips for achieving agreement for a verb.

1. Identify the Subject

The first step is to identify the subject of the sentence. Most sentences have a single subject, but some might have more than one. Once the writer identifies the subject, they can determine whether the subject is singular or plural.

2. Determine the Number

The next step is to determine the number of the subject, whether singular or plural. Singular subjects require a singular verb, while plural subjects require a plural verb.

3. Watch Out for Tricky Subjects

Some subjects can be tricky, leading to confusion in agreement for a verb. For example, collective nouns like team, family, group, etc., can be singular or plural, depending on the context.

– The team is practicing for the game. (singular)

– The team are all excited about the game. (plural)

Another example is when the subject comes after the verb, making it hard to determine the subject`s number.

– There are many people who enjoy playing video games. (plural)

4. Use Singular Verb with Each and Every

When using each or every before a subject, the verb must be singular.

– Each student is required to complete a written assignment.

– Every flower in the garden needs watering.

In conclusion, agreement for a verb is an essential grammar principle in writing. Writers must ensure that their subject and verb agree in number to enhance clarity and readability. With these tips in mind, writers can avoid common mistakes and create clear and concise writing.