How to Correct a Subject Verb Agreement

As a copy editor, one of the most common grammatical issues I come across is subject-verb agreement errors. These errors occur when the subject and verb in a sentence do not match in terms of singular or plural form. This can not only make your writing look unprofessional, but it can also harm your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Here are some tips on how to correct subject-verb agreement errors in your writing:

1. Identify the subject and verb in your sentence: Before you can determine whether they agree, you need to know what they are. The subject is the person or thing that is doing the action, while the verb is the action itself. For example, in the sentence “The bird sings,” “bird” is the subject and “sings” is the verb.

2. Check for number agreement: The subject and verb must agree in number, meaning they must both be singular or both be plural. For example, in the sentence “The bird sings,” both the subject and verb are singular. In the sentence “The birds sing,” both are plural.

3. Be careful with compound subjects: If your sentence has two or more subjects connected by “and,” the verb should be plural. For example, in the sentence “John and Jane are going to the store,” “John” and “Jane” are both subjects, so the verb “are” is plural.

4. Watch out for indefinite pronouns: Indefinite pronouns like “everyone,” “anyone,” “someone,” and “nobody” are always singular, even if they refer to multiple people. For example, in the sentence “Everyone is invited to the party,” “everyone” is singular, so the verb “is” is also singular.

5. Be consistent with collective nouns: Collective nouns refer to a group of people or things, but can be singular or plural depending on the context. For example, in the sentence “The team is playing tonight,” “team” is singular. In the sentence “The team are arguing amongst themselves,” “team” is plural.

Correcting subject-verb agreement errors is essential for effective communication and improving your writing`s SEO. By following these tips and taking the time to carefully review your writing, you can ensure that your subject and verb always agree, making your writing clearer and more professional.

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