Subject-verb agreement is an essential grammatical rule that must be adhered to for any written or spoken communication to be considered correct. The concept of concord, or agreement between a subject and the verb, is fundamental in the construction of grammatically correct sentences. Understanding the proper use of subject-verb agreement in different contexts can be challenging, but it is an essential skill for improving your communication skills.
Here are some examples of subject-verb agreement, or concord, in different contexts:
Singular Subject and Singular Verb Agreement
When a sentence features a singular subject, the accompanying verb must also be singular to maintain proper agreement:
Example: The boy sings beautifully.
In this sentence, «boy» is the singular subject, and «sings» is the accompanying singular verb.
Plural Subject and Plural Verb Agreement
When a sentence has a plural subject, the accompanying verb must also be plural to maintain agreement:
Example: The boys sing beautifully.
Here, «boys» is the plural subject, and «sing» is the accompanying verb in the plural form.
Singular Subject and Plural Noun Phrase
In some cases, a sentence may have a singular subject, but the accompanying noun phrase may be plural. In such cases, the verb should take the plural form:
Example: The boy, along with his friends, sings beautifully.
In this sentence, «boy» is singular, but the noun phrase «his friends» is plural. Therefore, the verb «sings» must be replaced with «sing» to maintain proper agreement.
Plural Subject and Singular Noun Phrase
Similarly, when a sentence has a plural subject, but the accompanying noun phrase is singular, the verb should also be singular to maintain proper agreement:
Example: The boys, along with their teacher, sings beautifully.
Here, «boys» is the plural subject, but the noun phrase «their teacher» is singular. Therefore, the verb «sings» must be replaced with the singular form «sing» to maintain proper concord.
Collective Noun and Singular or Plural Agreement
Collective nouns refer to a group of people, animals, or things collectively. The verb that accompanies the collective noun can be singular or plural, depending on the context in which it is used:
Example: The team is ready for the game.
In this sentence, «team» is a collective noun, and it is accompanied by the singular verb «is.»
Example: The team are arguing with each other.
In this sentence, «team» is the collective noun, and it is accompanied by the plural verb «are.»
In summary, subject-verb agreement, or concord, is a fundamental component of proper grammar. It is essential to ensure that your sentences convey the intended meaning by correctly matching the subject and the verb. Remember to analyze the subject and the accompanying noun phrase to determine whether the verb should be singular or plural. With a little practice, you can master the concept of concord and improve your communication skills both in writing and in speech.