Subject verb agreement is an essential grammatical concept that is often tested in Class 10 examinations. It is crucial to understand the rules of subject-verb agreement to write error-free sentences and improve your overall writing skills. Let`s delve deeper into the nuances of subject-verb agreement.

The Basics of Subject-Verb Agreement

The subject of a sentence refers to the person, place, thing, or idea that the sentence is focused on. The verb, on the other hand, is the action that the subject is doing. A sentence must have a subject and a verb to be complete.

Subject-verb agreement means that the subject and verb in a sentence must agree in number. If the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural.

For example:

– He plays basketball. (‘He’ is a singular subject, and ‘plays’ is a singular verb)

– They play basketball. (‘They’ is a plural subject, and ‘play’ is a plural verb)

Subject-Verb Agreement Rules

1. When the subject is singular, use a singular verb.

For example:

– The boy is playing soccer.

– The dog barks at night.

2. When the subject is plural, use a plural verb.

For example:

– The boys are playing soccer.

– The dogs bark at night.

3. Singular subjects that end with ‘s’ take a singular verb.

For example:

– Mathematics is my favorite subject.

– Politics is not my favorite topic.

4. Compound subjects that are joined by ‘and’ take a plural verb.

For example:

– The cat and the mouse are playing together.

5. When a singular subject is joined by ‘or’ or ‘nor’ to another singular subject, the verb agrees with the subject closest to it.

For example:

– Either the teacher or the students are responsible for the mess.

6. When a singular subject is followed by a phrase/clause, use a singular verb.

For example:

– The book that I read was interesting.

7. Collective nouns are generally singular, but they can be plural depending on the context of the sentence.

For example:

– The team is playing well. (singular verb)

– The team are arguing among themselves. (plural verb)

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One of the most common mistakes that students make is using a singular verb with a plural subject, or vice versa. For example, saying “The team is playing good” instead of “The team is playing well”. Another common mistake is using a singular verb with phrases such as ‘a number of’, ‘a lot of’, ‘a few’, etc., when they are followed by plural nouns.

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is an essential grammatical concept that must be mastered by all students. By understanding the basic rules and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and error-free. Remember to always check for subject-verb agreement when proofreading your work. Happy writing!