Subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of good grammar, which is vital in creating effective and engaging content. When writing, it is essential to ensure that the subject and verb in a sentence match in number and tense. Proper subject-verb agreement not only improves the clarity of your writing but also helps you avoid grammar mistakes that can negatively impact your content`s SEO. Here are five basic rules of subject-verb agreement you should know.
1. Singular subjects require singular verbs, and plural subjects require plural verbs.
When writing, you should ensure that the verb matches the subject`s number. For example, in the sentence, « The cat chases the mouse, » the subject, « cat, » is singular. Therefore, the verb, « chases, » is also singular. Conversely, in the sentence, « The cats chase the mouse, » the subject, « cats, » is plural, so the verb, « chase, » is also plural.
2. Indefinite pronouns are singular and require singular verbs.
Indefinite pronouns such as anyone, somebody, and everyone are considered singular. Therefore, when using these pronouns as the subject of a sentence, you should ensure that the verb is singular. For instance, in the sentence, « Everyone is responsible for their actions, » the pronoun, « everyone, » is singular, thus requiring the singular verb, « is. »
3. Compound subjects joined by « and » are plural and require plural verbs.
When two or more subjects are connected by « and, » the subject becomes plural, and the verb should be plural too. For instance, in the sentence, « John and Mary are going to the movies, » the subject, « John and Mary, » is plural, thus requiring the plural verb, « are. »
4. Singular nouns connected by « or » or « nor » require a singular verb.
When two singular nouns are joined by « or » or « nor, » the verb should agree with the subject closest to it. For example, in the sentence, « Either the dog or the cat is responsible for the mess, » the subject closest to the verb, « is, » is « cat, » which is singular, making the verb singular too.
5. Collective nouns can be singular or plural, depending on context.
Collective nouns such as team, family, and group can be singular or plural, depending on the context in which they are used. For instance, in the sentence, « The team is playing well, » the collective noun, « team, » is considered singular because it refers to a single unit. However, in the sentence, « The team members are fighting, » the collective noun, « team, » is considered plural because it refers to the individual members.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is a fundamental aspect of good grammar that should not be overlooked when writing content for SEO purposes. By applying these five simple rules of subject-verb agreement, you can significantly improve the readability and credibility of your content, which can increase its chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages.