A Story on Subject Verb Agreement
Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental grammatical rule that governs the proper use of verbs in a sentence. This rule stipulates that the verb must agree with the subject in both number and person.
For instance, in the sentence – “The cat jumps on the table,” the subject “cat” is singular, and the verb “jumps” is in agreement, both in number and person. However, if the sentence is rewritten as “The cats jump on the table,” the subject becomes plural, and the verb must also be plural – “jump.”
Although subject-verb agreement seems like a basic rule, it can be quite tricky to apply, especially when the subject and verb are separated by lengthy phrases or clauses. In such cases, the writer must be careful not to be misled by the intervening words.
For instance, in the sentence – “The team of players is practicing in the fields,” the subject “team” is singular, and the verb “is practicing” is in agreement. It is crucial to note that the prepositional phrase “of players” does not change the subject, which remains singular.
In some cases, however, subject-verb agreement can be challenging, especially when the subject is not immediately clear. For instance, a sentence like “The book on the table, along with my pen and pencil, were missing” can be problematic. In such instances, it is crucial to identify the subject that the verb will agree with, which, in this case, is “book.”
Another instance that can present a challenge is when the subject comprises two or more nouns joined by “and.” In this case, the verb must be plural. For instance, in the sentence – “My brother and sister love to play chess,” the subject, “brother and sister,” is plural, and the verb “love” is in agreement.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is a fundamental grammatical rule that must be adhered to in any written or spoken language. Understanding and applying this rule is crucial in effective communication, as it helps to convey the intended message accurately and with clarity.