20 Rules of the Subject Verb Agreement

As a professional, one of the essential aspects of creating high-quality, search engine optimized content is ensuring that the subject and the verb in a sentence agrees with each other. The subject-verb agreement is a basic grammar rule that, unfortunately, many writers tend to overlook.

Using correct subject-verb agreement ensures that your writing is grammatically correct and communicates your message clearly to your audience, including search engines. Here are 20 essential rules of subject-verb agreement that every writer should know.

1. The subject and verb must agree in number. If the subject is singular, the verb must be singular too, and if the subject is plural, the verb must be plural too.

2. A singular subject takes a singular verb, and a plural subject takes a plural verb.

3. A collective noun, such as a team or staff, may be either singular or plural depending on its usage in the sentence.

4. Indefinite pronouns, such as everyone or anybody, are always singular and require a singular verb.

5. Compound subjects connected by “and” require a plural verb.

6. Compound subjects connected by “or” or “nor” require the verb to agree with the subject closest to the verb.

7. When there is a prepositional phrase between the subject and verb, the verb should agree with the subject, not the noun in the prepositional phrase.

8. Words indicating amounts, such as “a lot,” “some,” and “many,” do not change the number of the subject and therefore do not affect the verb.

9. “Each” and “every” are singular pronouns and require singular verbs.

10. When the subject is a fraction, use a singular verb if the fraction is one, and a plural verb if the fraction is greater than one.

11. Inverted sentences, such as “Here is the book,” require the verb to agree with the subject, not the object of the sentence.

12. Titles of books, movies, and other works take singular verbs.

13. The word “none” can be singular or plural depending on the context of the sentence.

14. When a subject follows the verb, the verb should agree with the subject, not the noun closest to it.

15. When the subject is a collective noun, the verb can be singular or plural depending on whether the emphasis is on the group as a whole or its individual members.

16. The verbs “do” and “does” should be used before a plural subject or a singular subject, respectively.

17. “One of the” followed by a plural noun takes a singular verb.

18. Expressions like “more than one” and “less than three” are always singular and require singular verbs.

19. “There” is never the subject of a sentence and therefore does not affect the subject-verb agreement.

20. Sentences that begin with “it” must have a clear subject for the verb to agree with.

In conclusion, using proper subject-verb agreement is crucial for creating effective, search engine optimized content that communicates your message clearly and professionally. Knowing these 20 rules of subject-verb agreement will help you write grammatically correct sentences that resonate with both your audience and search engines.