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What Are the 20 Rules of Subject Verb Agreement

Subject-verb agreement is a crucial aspect of good writing. When a sentence lacks proper subject-verb agreement, it can confuse the reader and detract from the overall message. As a professional, I will guide you through the 20 rules of subject-verb agreement to help you create effective and engaging content.

1. A singular subject requires a singular verb: For example, “The bird flies” is correct, whereas “The bird fly” is not.

2. A plural subject requires a plural verb: For example, “The birds fly” is correct, whereas “The birds flies” is not.

3. Indefinite pronouns like “everyone,” “someone,” and “anyone” are singular: For example, “Everyone wants to be loved” is correct, whereas “Everyone want to be loved” is not.

4. Collective nouns are singular: For example, “The team is working hard” is correct, whereas “The team are working hard” is not.

5. Compound subjects joined by “and” are plural: For example, “John and Jane are dancing” is correct, whereas “John and Jane is dancing” is not.

6. Compound subjects joined by “or” or “nor” take a verb that agrees with the subject nearest to the verb: For example, “Neither the cat nor the dog is hungry” is correct, whereas “Neither the cat nor the dog are hungry” is not.

7. When the subject follows the verb, make sure to match the verb to the subject and not to a noun in between: For example, “Here comes the sun” is correct, whereas “Here come the sun” is not.

8. When a sentence begins with “there” or “here,” the verb agrees with the subject that follows: For example, “There are two birds in the tree” is correct, whereas “There is two birds in the tree” is not.

9. Compound nouns are singular: For example, “The basketball team is practicing” is correct, whereas “The basketball team are practicing” is not.

10. Titles and names take a singular verb: For example, “The Lion King is a great movie” is correct, whereas “The Lion King are great movies” is not.

11. Fractions: Use a singular verb for fractions when they are used as a whole: For example, “One-third of the cake is gone” is correct, whereas “One-third of the cake are gone” is not.

12. Fractions: Use a plural verb for fractions when they are used to refer to separate items: For example, “Two-thirds of the eggs are broken” is correct, whereas “Two-thirds of the eggs is broken” is not.

13. When using “each,” “every,” or “many a,” the verb is singular: For example, “Each student has their own book” is correct, whereas “Each student have their own book” is not.

14. “None” can be either singular or plural depending on the context: For example, “None of the students are ready” is correct, whereas “None of the students is ready” is not.

15. Singular nouns that end in “s” take a singular verb: For example, “The bus always arrives on time” is correct, whereas “The bus always arrive on time” is not.

16. If the collective noun refers to the individuals within the group, use a plural verb: For example, “The team have all brought their own equipment” is correct, whereas “The team has all brought their own equipment” is not.

17. Gerunds (verbs that end in -ing) act as singular nouns and take a singular verb: For example, “Playing video games is one of my favorite pastimes” is correct, whereas “Playing video games are one of my favorite pastimes” is not.

18. Non-count nouns (such as “water” or “information”) are singular: For example, “The information is up-to-date” is correct, whereas “The information are up-to-date” is not.

19. Expressions of time, money, and distance use singular verbs: For example, “Fifty dollars is too much for that shirt” is correct, whereas “Fifty dollars are too much for that shirt” is not.

20. Plural nouns that are not normally used in plural form (such as “arms” or “glasses”) take plural verbs: For example, “His glasses are broken” is correct, whereas “His glasses is broken” is not.

Understanding and applying these rules will help you create clear and effective writing that engages your readers. As a professional, I highly recommend incorporating subject-verb agreement into your writing process to improve your content and increase your online presence.

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