Subject Verb Agreement Handout

Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental aspect of grammar that impacts the clarity and coherence of any piece of writing. It refers to the need to ensure that the subject and verb in a sentence agree in terms of their number and person. Understanding and applying subject-verb agreement rules is crucial in producing writing that is effective, persuasive, and grammatically correct.

A handout on subject-verb agreement is an essential tool for writers, particularly those who are learning English as a second language. It provides a concise and easy-to-understand guide on the basic rules of subject-verb agreement. Here are some essential points that a subject-verb agreement handout should cover:

1. Singular subjects take singular verbs, and plural subjects take plural verbs. For example, “The cat is sleeping” uses a singular subject “cat” and a singular verb “is.” Conversely, “The cats are sleeping” uses a plural subject “cats” and a plural verb “are.”

2. When a sentence has compound subjects joined by “and,” it takes a plural verb. For example, “John and Mary are going to the movies” uses a plural verb “are” to match the plural compound subject “John and Mary.”

3. When a sentence has compound subjects joined by “or” or “nor,” it takes a verb that agrees with the subject closest to it. For example, “Either the dog or the cats are causing a ruckus” uses a plural verb “are” to match the second subject “cats,” which is closer to the verb.

4. Collective nouns (such as team, family, jury) take singular verbs if the group is acting as a single unit. For example, “The team is playing well” uses a singular verb “is” to match the collective noun “team.”

5. Indefinite pronouns (such as everybody, nobody, each) take singular verbs. For example, “Everyone is enjoying the party” uses a singular verb “is” to match the indefinite pronoun “everyone.”

A subject-verb agreement handout should also provide examples of incorrect subject-verb agreement, as well as tips on how to identify and correct them. For instance, it can include examples of subject-verb disagreement due to faulty pronoun reference, intervening words, or inverted word order.

In conclusion, a subject-verb agreement handout is an invaluable resource for writers seeking to improve their grammar skills. It provides a clear and concise guide on the basic rules of subject-verb agreement, including examples of correct and incorrect usage. By applying these rules, writers can produce writing that is grammatically correct, clear, and effective for their intended audience.


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