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What Is Verb and Subject Agreement

As a copy editor, one important aspect in writing that I always consider is the verb and subject agreement. This is an essential element in grammar that every writer must understand to be able to create an effective and comprehensible composition. In this article, we’ll discuss what verb and subject agreement is and why it matters in your writing.

Firstly, let’s define what a verb is. A verb is a word that describes an action, occurrence, or state of being. It is an essential element in a sentence that conveys the meaning of an action or a situation. In contrast, a subject is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that performs the action described by the verb. The subject is usually placed before the verb and is the primary focus of the sentence.

The verb and subject agreement is the match between the number, tense, and person of the verb and the subject in the sentence. For instance, a singular verb must correspond with a singular subject, while a plural verb should correspond with a plural subject. The tense of the verb must also coincide with the tense of the subject. Additionally, the person of the verb must match the person of the subject.

For example, consider the sentence, “The dog barks incessantly.” In this sentence, “dog” is the subject, and “barks” is the verb. Since the subject “dog” is singular, the verb “barks” is also in the singular form. The agreement between the subject and the verb is necessary to ensure that the sentence is grammatically correct and easy to understand.

Now, why does verb and subject agreement matter? A lack of agreement between the subject and the verb can make the sentence difficult to read and understand. It can also lead to confusion and ambiguity in meaning. For instance, consider the sentence, “The crowd are cheering.” In this sentence, the subject “crowd” is plural, while the verb “are” is in the singular form. This sentence can be corrected by changing the verb to “is,” making it “The crowd is cheering.”

In conclusion, verb and subject agreement is a fundamental concept in grammar that every writer must understand. The agreement between a verb and its subject is necessary to ensure that a sentence is grammatically correct and easy to comprehend. To achieve a clear and effective composition, it is essential to pay attention to the number, tense, and person of the verb and the subject. By doing so, you can ensure that your writing is accurate, coherent, and easily understood by your readers.