Subject-verb agreement, person, and number are crucial grammatical concepts that writers and editors should be familiar with to produce error-free content. When writing, it’s important to make sure that the subject and verb in a sentence agree in both person and number. In this article, we’ll discuss the rules of subject-verb agreement, person, and number to help you improve your writing and optimize your content for SEO.
Subject-verb agreement is the grammatical rule that stipulates that the subject and verb in a sentence must agree in number. In simple terms, this means that singular subjects take singular verbs while plural subjects take plural verbs.
For instance, in the sentence “The dog barks at the mailman,” the singular subject “dog” takes the singular verb “barks.” Meanwhile, in the sentence “The dogs bark at the mailmen,” the plural subject “dogs” takes the plural verb “bark.”
One common error writers make is when the subject and verb are separated by several words or phrases. This can make it difficult to identify the correct verb to use. It’s important to remember that the verb must agree with the subject, regardless of how many intervening words there are.
For example, consider the following sentence: “The group of students, with their textbooks and pens, is ready for class.” In this sentence, “group” is the subject, and it is singular, which means that the correct verb to use is “is,” not “are.”
Person refers to the grammatical form that refers to the speaker, the person being addressed, or the third person, which is anyone or anything being talked about. Person is important in subject-verb agreement because the verb must agree with the subject, and the subject’s person dictates the verb’s form.
For instance, in the sentence “I am going to the store,” the first person singular pronoun “I” takes the singular verb “am.” In the sentence “You are going to the store,” the second person singular pronoun “you” takes the singular verb “are.” Meanwhile, in the sentence “He is going to the store,” the third person singular pronoun “he” takes the singular verb “is.”
Number refers to the grammatical form that indicates whether the subject is singular or plural. In subject-verb agreement, the number of the subject determines the number of the verb.
For example, in the sentence “The cat chases the mouse,” both the subject and the verb are singular. Meanwhile, in the sentence “The cats chase the mice,” both the subject and verb are plural.
In summary, subject-verb agreement, person, and number are important grammatical concepts that writers and editors should be aware of to produce high-quality content. By following the rules of subject-verb agreement and using the correct person and number, you can ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct – making it more SEO-friendly and appealing to readers.