Subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of academic writing. It ensures that the meaning and coherence of a sentence are not compromised. It is a fundamental principle that writers must adhere to when constructing sentences. When the subject and verb agree, the sentence is considered grammatically correct.
Subject-verb agreement refers to the rule that the verb must match the subject in number. This means that a singular subject should be followed by a singular verb, while a plural subject should be followed by a plural verb. For instance, if the subject of a sentence is singular, the verb that follows must be singular, as in “The student studies hard” and not “The student study hard.”
In academic writing, subject-verb agreement is critical. It is a sign of proper grammar and punctuation. The correct use of subject-verb agreement helps to convey the message of the writer effectively. Academic writing is aimed at providing information or presenting an argument in a clear and concise manner. The use of proper grammar, including subject-verb agreement, helps to achieve this goal.
The most common error in subject-verb agreement occurs when the subject and verb are separated by phrases and clauses. This often leads to confusion and errors. For instance, in the sentence, “The boy, along with his classmates, were taking the test,” the verb “were” does not agree with the singular subject “boy.” The correct sentence should be “The boy, along with his classmates, was taking the test.”
Another common error in subject-verb agreement is in sentences that have indefinite pronouns. Indefinite pronouns refer to nonspecific individuals or things. Some examples are “everybody,” “someone,” “anybody,” “something,” and “nothing.” These pronouns should be treated as singular, and the verb that follows must also be singular. For instance, in the sentence, “Everyone knows their way around the city,” the verb “knows” must be changed to “know” to agree with the singular subject “everyone.”
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is a vital aspect of academic writing. It is crucial to ensure that the meaning of the sentence is clear and coherent. Writers must adhere to the rule of subject-verb agreement when constructing sentences. It is essential to avoid common errors and understand the correct use of subject-verb agreement in academic writing. Proper grammar is necessary for effective communication and should not be overlooked.