Subject-verb agreement is an essential part of the English language. It helps to convey the intended message clearly and effectively. Subject-verb agreement grammar is all about ensuring that the subject and verb in a sentence match in number.
For instance, if the subject is singular, then the verb should be singular as well. If the subject is plural, the verb should also be plural. Let`s take an example;
Incorrect: The cat hissed at the dog.
Correct: The cat hisses at the dog.
In the first example, „cat“ is a singular noun, and „hissed“ is a past tense verb. However, past tense verbs cannot agree with singular nouns, and therefore, the sentence is grammatically incorrect.
However, in the second example, the subject „cat“ is singular, and the verb „hisses“ is singular as well. Therefore, the sentence is grammatically correct.
Another example to illustrate subject-verb agreement grammar is;
Incorrect: The dogs barks loudly.
Correct: The dogs bark loudly.
In the first example, „dogs“ is a plural noun, but „barks“ is a singular verb. Thus, the sentence is grammatically incorrect. However, in the second example, the subject „dogs“ is plural, and the verb „bark“ is also plural. Thus, the sentence is grammatically correct.
Subject-verb agreement grammar applies in various tenses, including the present tense, past tense, and future tense. The agreement also applies in sentences with compound subjects, where two or more subjects are connected by conjunctions such as „and,“ „or,“ or „nor.“
Incorrect: The cat and the dog chase each other around the yard.
Correct: The cat and the dog chase each other around the yard.
The subject „cat“ and „dog“ are connected by the conjunction „and,“ making it a compound subject. Therefore, the verb „chase“ should also be plural to match the compound subject.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement grammar is an essential aspect of the English language. It helps to ensure that the intended message in a sentence is conveyed effectively. As a copy editor, getting a firm grip on subject-verb agreement grammar can help you produce error-free copies that meet the expectations of your clients and readers.