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An important part of writing sentences correctly is subject-verb agreement. This means that you have to make sure that your subject, the noun that the sentence is about, is matched with the correct verb. In general, if you have a singular noun, you must have a singular verb and if you have a plural noun, you must have a plural verb. Here are some examples of correct and incorrect subject-verb agreement.
- Incorrect: Suzie swim in the pool. Correct: Suzie swims in the pool.
- Incorrect: John and Sara walks to the park. Correct: John and Sara walk to the park.
There are of course some tricky words that might make you wonder which verb is the correct one to use, like words that identify groups. The following words are singular nouns and should be treated the same way when it comes to subject-verb agreement- everyone, everybody, anyone, anybody, no one, nobody. Words like family and team can also be tricky. These are called collective nouns since they are describing more than one person or thing. They are usually treated the same as singular nouns.
- Incorrect: Everyone run around the track. Correct: Everyone runs around the track.
- Incorrect: No one want to play in the rain. Correct: No one wants to play in the rain.
- Incorrect: The team play hard. Correct: The team plays hard.
Of course, in the English language, there are many rules and also many exceptions to the rules. If something doesn’t look right or doesn’t sound right, be sure to double check.
Time4Writing provides practice in this area. Try a sample resource from our Elementary Grammar course or browse other related courses.