Have you ever heard of the term “subject-verb agreement”? Here’s your chance to discover what subject-verb agreement is, what the phrase “concord” means, and the rules to help you comprehend and learn how it works. In this blog, we have mentioned the top 10 most important subject-verb agreement rules along with examples to have a better understanding of what it is and how it should be used to construct great sentences.
In the sentence, for example, “They are enjoyable,” if you use the plural subject they, you would use the plural ‘are’. Also, if you use the singular she, you are going to use the singular ‘is’ in phrases like “She is entertaining.” It would be incorrect to state “They are fun” or “She are fun” because those subjects and verbs are incompatible. This is just an example, read the complete blog to learn how the subject-verb agreement rules work.
What is Subject Verb Agreement
The term ‘subject-verb agreement’ refers to the agreement between the subject and the verb, as the name implies. This is especially true for solitary and plural nouns/pronouns that serve as subjects. “Concord” refers to the way a word has a form suited to the number or gender of the noun or pronoun it links to. For example, in ‘She hates it,’ the singular form of the verb and the singular pronoun’she’ are in agreement.”
According to Garner’s Modern English Usage, the general principle of subject-verb agreement is “to use a plural verb with a plural subject, a singular verb with a singular subject.” In most circumstances, this rule is true. There are, however, exceptions to this rule.
Radha plays the piano.
(Radha is singular, and plays are singular)
My friends play the piano.
(My friends are plural, and play is plural)
She cries at everything.
(She is singular, cries are singular)
They laugh at my jokes.
(They is plural, laugh is plural)
Subject Verb Agreement Rules
When using the present tenses, the principle of subject-verb concord is most important. The same verbs are used in the simple past and simple future tenses regardless of the subject of the statement. Understanding and adhering to the subject-verb agreement principles will help you construct error-free phrases. Examine the following rules and the examples to learn how rules are implemented.
#Rule 1 –
The first guideline is to use a singular verb with a singular subject and a plural verb with a plural subject, as was previously discussed. A noun, a pronoun, or even a noun phrase can be used as the subject. Although, if it’s a pronoun, the subject-verb agreement is done with the pronoun’s person in mind.
For example – Nisha spends her free time reading books. (Singular subject with a singular verb)
Ram and Syam play the piano. (Plural subject with a plural verb)
#Rule 2 –
The subject also influences how to utilize ‘have’ and ‘has’ in the present perfect tense, present perfect continuous tense, and as a primary verb. All singular subjects use ‘has,’ while all plural subjects use ‘have’.
Example – I have an elder sister.
Swetha has a pet cat.
#Rule 3 –
These rules are short and crisp as in this rule the Compound subjects with the conjunction ‘and’ require a plural verb. Therefore, a plural verb comes along with ‘and’ in a sentence.
Example – Shweta and Puja are on their way to the station.
Abhi, Sheela and Akash have completed pending assessments.
#Rule 4 –
When the conjunction ‘or’ joins more than one noun in a particular sentence, the subject is regarded as singular, and therefore a singular verb is employed in the same sentence.
For example – Spicy food or spring onion works fine.
Your brother or father has to be here in two hours.
#Rule 5 –
Sentences containing pronouns such as anybody, anyone, no one, somebody, someone, everybody, everyone, nothing, and nobody are considered singular subjects when used in a sentence and thus will utilize a singular verb.
Example – Nobody has gone swimming.
Everyone was sad about the result.
#Rule 6 –
The ‘do’ verb is sometimes used in interrogative statements. One must regard subject-verb agreement in interrogative phrases is that the initial verb (‘be’ verb or ‘do’ verb) must be aligned with the statement’s subject.
Example – Do you dance every day at night?
Doesn’t she book the tickets already?
#Rule 7 –
When writing sentences that begin with ‘here,’ ‘there,’ ‘this,’ ‘that,’ ‘those,’ ‘these,’ etc., remember that the subject comes before the verb in the sentence and thus the verb must be conjugated with reference to the subject.
Example – Here is your pencil.
There lies your book.
#Rule 8 –
The following rule is based on using collective nouns as subjects. When a collective noun is the subject of a phrase or sentence, the verb might be singular or plural depending on the phrase and context. Thus, it is decided on the meaning of the sentence.
Example – My family is settled in America.
All groups of participants went for the rehearsal.
#Rule 9 –
When adjectives such as ‘all,’ ‘a lot of,’ ‘lots of,’ or ‘some’ are used with nouns to produce a phrase that serves as the subject of the sentence, the verb is utilized in accordance with the noun directly before it.
Example – All of my pants have become loose.
A lot of work is left out.
#Rule 10 –
When you are using a sentence to express a wish or a sentence to make a request, you must remember that verbs are employed separately from other phrases.
Example – I wish I were a butterfly.
If you were here, I would have hugged you.
The above-mentioned rules are some of the most important rules of subject-verb agreement. Additionally, these rules are mentioned for your general understanding of the concept and to help you write and understand English grammar easily. Remember without practice these rules are of no use. Practice writing a paragraph on your own and checking it later to know the mistakes related to subject-verb agreement. You can also check whether you have written the correct paragraph on some best grammar-checking websites. Therefore, these websites will help you in practicing and improve your way of writing.