Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental aspect of grammar that can significantly impact the clarity and effectiveness of your writing. It is the concept of matching the subject of the sentence with its corresponding verb in terms of the number and tense. This practice is essential in both formal and informal writing, and it can directly impact your SEO rankings. The ACT test, which is one of the standardized tests commonly taken by students in the United States, includes questions on this grammar concept. Therefore, it is crucial to practice subject-verb agreement to achieve success in both the test and your future writing endeavors.
Here are some essential tips and practices to help you master subject-verb agreement:
1. Determine the Number of Your Subject: The number of the subject (singular or plural) determines the form of the verb that should follow. If the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular; if the subject is plural, the verb should be plural.
Example: The dog barks. (singular subject)
The dogs bark. (plural subject)
2. Pay Attention to Verb Tense: The tense of the verb should also match the tense of the subject. If the subject is in the present tense, the verb should be present tense too, and the same goes for the past tense.
Example: She runs every morning. (present tense)
She ran every morning. (past tense)
3. Compound Subjects: When there are two or more subjects in the sentence, you have to ensure that the verb agrees with the number of the entire subject. If the compound subject is joined by “and” the subject is plural, so the verb should also be plural.
Example: Tom and John are studying for the ACT. (compound subject – plural)
4. Collective Nouns: Collective nouns, such as “team,” “family,” or “group,” are singular in form, but they represent a group of individuals. The verb should be singular as well.
Example: The team is practicing every day. (singular collective noun)
5. Inverted Subjects: Inverted sentences, where the subject and verb order are switched, can often be challenging to determine the verb tense and agreement. For these types of sentences, pay attention to the subject that comes after the verb.
Example: Under the bed, sleeps the cat. (singular inverted subject)
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is a vital aspect of grammar and can impact your writing`s clarity, efficiency, and SEO ranking. To improve your writing skills and do well on the ACT exam, it is essential to practice this grammar concept regularly. By following the tips and practices mentioned above, you can enhance your subject-verb agreement skills and ultimately become a better writer.