Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental rule of grammar that is often overlooked or misunderstood. It refers to the relationship between the subject and the verb in a sentence, which must agree in terms of number and person. In other words, a singular subject requires a singular verb, while a plural subject requires a plural verb.
For example, consider the following sentence:
The cat jumps over the fence.
In this case, the subject is “cat,” which is singular. Therefore, the verb “jumps” must also be singular to agree with the subject. If we were to use a plural verb instead, such as “jump,” the sentence would be grammatically incorrect.
Similarly, consider the following sentence:
The cats jump over the fence.
In this case, the subject is “cats,” which is plural. Therefore, the verb “jump” must also be plural to agree with the subject. If we were to use a singular verb instead, such as “jumps,” the sentence would again be grammatically incorrect.
Subject-verb agreement is important because it helps to ensure that sentences are clear, concise, and grammatically correct. When the subject and verb do not agree, it can create confusion for the reader or listener and detract from the overall quality of the writing.
In addition to number and person, subject-verb agreement can also be affected by other factors such as tense and voice. However, understanding the basic rule of agreement between subject and verb is a crucial first step in mastering this aspect of grammar.