Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental concept in grammar that students learn in their early school years. It is crucial to develop a strong foundation in this area, as it helps to ensure that your writing is clear, concise and grammatically correct. In this article, we will explore the basics of subject-verb agreement for students in standard 8.
What is Subject-Verb Agreement?
Subject-verb agreement is simply the match between the subject and the verb in a sentence. The subject is the person, place, or thing that performs the action in the sentence, while the verb is the action itself. The verb must agree with the subject in number and person. This means that if the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb should be plural.
– She eats sushi for breakfast. (singular subject, singular verb)
– They eat sushi for breakfast. (plural subject, plural verb)
Common Problems with Subject-Verb Agreement
There are a few common problems that students encounter when it comes to subject-verb agreement. Let`s take a look at these common issues and how to avoid them.
1. Indefinite Pronouns
Indefinite pronouns are words like anyone, everyone, someone, nobody, and everybody, which refer to an unspecified person or group. These pronouns are always singular, so they require singular verbs.
– Everyone is invited to the party. (singular subject, singular verb)
– Nobody wants to go to the dentist. (singular subject, singular verb)
2. Collective Nouns
Collective nouns are words that refer to a group of people or things, such as team, family, or group. These nouns can be singular or plural, depending on the context. When the group is acting as a unit, use a singular verb. When the individuals in the group are acting separately, use a plural verb.
– The team is excited about the game tonight. (singular subject, singular verb)
– The family are discussing their summer vacation plans. (plural subject, plural verb)
3. Compound Subjects
Compound subjects are when two or more subjects are joined by a conjunction such as and, or, or nor. Use a plural verb when the compound subject is plural. Use a singular verb when the compound subject is singular.
– Thomas and Sarah are going to the concert. (plural subject, plural verb)
– Peanut butter and jelly is my favorite sandwich. (singular subject, singular verb)
4. Tricky Nouns
Some nouns can be tricky when it comes to subject-verb agreement. For example, words like news, athletics, and mathematics are grammatically singular, but they refer to multiple things. Use singular verbs with these words.
– The news is always changing. (singular subject, singular verb)
– Mathematics is a challenging subject. (singular subject, singular verb)
Subject-verb agreement is an essential concept in grammar that students in standard 8 must master. Remember to match the subject and verb in number and person, and watch out for common issues like indefinite pronouns, collective nouns, compound subjects, and tricky nouns. With practice, you can improve your writing and make it more grammatically correct.