Blog » Learn English » Grammar » Subject-Verb Agreement - Common Errors in English

Subject-Verb Agreement - Common Errors in English

Subject-verb agreement is probably the hardest part of the English language to master for new learners. Here we go over the essentials of subject-verb agreement in English, and show you how WhiteSmoke works to detect and correct agreement errors in sentences.

About Subject-Verb Agreement

The key to subject-verb agreement is matching the number of both; singular subjects take singular verb forms, as plural subjects take plural verb forms. The trick is (1) to recognize singular v. plural subjects, which is not always easy (an “s” at the end of a word is not the only sign of subject plurality), and (2) to know the difference between singular and plural verb forms.

Subject-verb agreement can be difficult due to the irregularity of English plural subjects; many are not marked with an “s” at the end. Even for native-English speakers, subject-verb agreement can be a difficult concept to grasp. There are several rules to follow, and some of them just require practice so that they become familiar.

 

Some Subject-Verb Agreement Rules

(According to Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style (Allyn & Bacon, 2000))

 

Fixing Subject-Verb Agreement Problems with WhiteSmoke

 

Problem #1: "I receives the information I requested."

 

Whitesmoke’s Suggestion(s):

 

Subject-Verb Agreement Example 1

 

Whitesmoke’s Explanation:

 

“The subject and verb have to agree in number and person. Singular nouns in the subject require the singular form of the verb (either in the first or the third person), whereas plural nouns require the plural form of the verb.” (A correct assessment of the error.)

 

Problem #2: "Painting are a fun hobby of mine."

 

Whitesmoke’s Suggestion:

 

Subject-Verb Agreement Example 2

 

 

Whitesmoke’s Explanation:

 

“The subject and verb have to agree in number and person. Singular nouns in the subject require the singular form of the verb (either in the first or the third person), whereas plural nouns require the plural form of the verb.” (A correct assessment of the error.)

 

Problem #3: "Everyone at the meeting are responsible for a presentation."

 

Whitesmoke’s Suggestion:

 

Subject-Verb Agreement Example 3

Whitesmoke’s Explanation:

 

“The subject and verb have to agree in number and person. Singular nouns in the subject require the singular form of the verb (either in the first or the third person), whereas plural nouns require the plural form of the verb.” (A correct assessment of the error.)

 

Share With Your Friends!



Digg Stumbleupon delicious technorati Furl Google Yahoo! E-mail this to a friend Share with Twitter Share with Facebook



Write your way to success with WhiteSmoke
Perfect your English writing with the most advanced text checkers



Write a comment

Required fields are marked with *.