How to fix subject-verb agreement errors?

Subject-verb agreement errors occur when there is a mismatch between the subject of a sentence and the verb that follows it. Here are some tips on how to fix these errors:

  1. Identify the subject: Determine the subject of the sentence, which is usually the noun or pronoun that performs the action or is described by the verb.
  2. Understand singular and plural verbs: Singular subjects typically require singular verbs, while plural subjects require plural verbs.
  3. Ensure agreement with compound subjects: If you have a compound subject (two or more nouns joined by “and”), use a plural verb unless the nouns represent a single entity.
  4. Watch for collective nouns: Collective nouns such as “team,” “group,” or “family” can be singular or plural depending on context. Consider whether you are referring to them as a unit (singular) or as individuals (plural).
  5. Pay attention to indefinite pronouns: Indefinite pronouns like “everyone,” “nobody,” or “someone” are treated as singular subjects and require singular verbs.
  6. Be mindful of phrases between subject and verb: Sometimes there are intervening phrases between the subject and verb of a sentence. Make sure not to let those distract you from matching them correctly.
  7. Revise for consistency in tense and number: Ensure that your sentences maintain consistency in both tense (past, present, future) and number (singular/plural) throughout.
  8. Cross-check for collective expressions: Expressions like “a number of” or “the majority of” are followed by a plural noun but still take a singular verb.
  9. Use proper agreement with indefinite articles: Indefinite articles like “a” or “an” precedes singular nouns and require matching singular verbs.
  10. Proofread carefully: Take the time to review your writing for any subject-verb agreement errors before finalizing your work.

By practising these techniques, you can enhance the accuracy and clarity of your writing by ensuring subject-verb agreement. Remember to choose the verb that matches the subject in terms of number, tense, and context.


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