Exercises on Subject Verb Agreement

When it comes to writing, one of the most important aspects to consider is subject-verb agreement. This refers to the proper matching of a subject with its corresponding verb in a sentence. A mistake in subject-verb agreement can lead to confusion and weaken the clarity and effectiveness of your writing. However, with a little practice, you can improve your subject-verb agreement skills and avoid common mistakes.

Here are some exercises you can do to strengthen your subject-verb agreement:

1. Identify the subject and verb in each sentence

Before you can ensure proper subject-verb agreement, you must first identify the subject and verb in each sentence. Identify the subject as the person, place, or thing that performs the action in the sentence. The verb is the action that the subject performs. By identifying the subject and verb, you can better understand how they should agree in terms of tense, number, and person.

Example: The cat (subject) is (verb) sleeping on the couch.

2. Match singular subjects with singular verbs

One of the easiest ways to improve subject-verb agreement is to ensure that singular subjects are matched with singular verbs. This means that a singular subject requires a singular verb, and a plural subject requires a plural verb. Singular subjects refer to one person, place, or thing, while plural subjects refer to more than one.

Example: The boy (singular subject) runs (singular verb) fast.

3. Match plural subjects with plural verbs

Just as singular subjects require singular verbs, plural subjects require plural verbs. The key is to ensure that the verb agrees with the number of the subject.

Example: The girls (plural subject) are (plural verb) singing in the choir.

4. Watch out for tricky subjects

Some subjects can be tricky and require special attention to ensure correct agreement. For example, when collective nouns (such as “team” or “family”) are used as subjects, you should use a singular verb. Similarly, when compound subjects (two or more subjects joined by “and”) are used, you should use a plural verb. And when subjects are joined by “or” or “nor”, use the verb that agrees with the subject closest to it.

Example: The team (singular subject) is (singular verb) working hard to win the game.

Example: The boy and girl (compound subject) are (plural verb) running in the park.

Example: Neither the dog nor the cat (joined subjects) is (singular verb) allowed on the couch.

By practicing these exercises, you can improve your subject-verb agreement skills and make your writing more effective. Remember to focus on identifying subjects and verbs, matching singular subjects with singular verbs, matching plural subjects with plural verbs, and being aware of tricky subjects. With these tips in mind, you can ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct.