Table of Subject Verb Agreement

September 6, 2023 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

As a copy editor, one of the most important aspects of my job is ensuring that the writing I work on adheres to the rules of grammar and punctuation. One of the most fundamental rules of grammar is subject-verb agreement. This rule states that the subject of a sentence must agree in number (singular or plural) with the verb that it pairs with. This may sound simple, but there are many instances where writers make mistakes in subject-verb agreement, leading to confusing and unclear writing.

One useful tool for writers and editors alike is the “table of subject-verb agreement.” This table provides a quick reference guide that outlines the different forms of verbs that should be used with singular and plural subjects. Here`s an example of what a table of subject-verb agreement might look like:

| Subject | Singular Verb | Plural Verb |

| — | — | — |

| I, you, he, she, it | plays | play |

| We, you, they | play | play |

Using this table, we can see that when the subject of a sentence is singular (e.g. “he,” “she,” “it”), the verb that follows should also be singular (e.g. “plays”). On the other hand, when the subject is plural (e.g. “we,” “you,” “they”), the verb should be plural as well (e.g. “play”).

Of course, there are many rules and exceptions to subject-verb agreement beyond just singular vs. plural. For example, when a compound subject is joined by “and,” the verb should be plural. When a subject is composed of “either/or” or “neither/nor,” the verb should agree with the noun closer to it. And when using collective nouns (such as “team” or “staff”), the verb should reflect whether the group is acting as a single unit or as individuals.

By using a table of subject-verb agreement, writers and editors can quickly and easily check whether the verb in a sentence matches its subject, avoiding common mistakes that can undermine the clarity and meaning of a piece of writing. Whether you`re writing an academic paper, a blog post, or a professional report, taking the time to ensure proper subject-verb agreement can make a big difference in the effectiveness and impact of your writing.