Subject-verb agreement is one of the fundamental rules of English grammar, and it is critical to ensure that the subject and verb in a sentence agree in both number and person. Otherwise, the sentence can become confusing and awkward, and worst of all, it can negatively impact your writing`s clarity and effectiveness.
The subject-verb agreement story is a tale of how an incorrect agreement can lead to embarrassing and sometimes humorous communication breakdowns. Here’s an example:
Incorrect: The group of people was walking down the street when they see a stray dog.
Correct: The group of people were walking down the street when they saw a stray dog.
In the incorrect version, the sentence uses the singular verb “was” to refer to the group of people, which is plural. The correct sentence uses the plural verb “were,” making sure the verb agrees with the subject`s number.
Now let us take a look at another example:
Incorrect: The news from the last night was devastating.
Correct: The news from last night were devastating.
In the incorrect version, the singular verb “was” is used to refer to the plural subject “news.” The correct sentence uses the plural verb “were” to agree with the plural subject.
Here`s one more example:
Incorrect: Either the cat or the dogs are hiding in the barn.
Correct: Either the cat or the dogs are hiding in the barn.
In the incorrect version, the verb “are” disagrees in number with the singular subject “Either.” The correct sentence uses the plural verb “are” to agree with the compound subject “cat or the dogs.”
The subject-verb agreement is especially important in writing for SEO. When you write content for a website, it`s crucial to use the right keywords and phrases to help your content rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). But, if your content has grammatical errors, it`s less likely to be taken seriously by readers and, as a result, less likely to be shared on other sites and social media. That will ultimately hurt your SEO ranking.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is not only a critical grammar rule but also an essential aspect of effective communication. Using the correct verb forms and ensuring that the verb agrees with the subject in number and person will help ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and effective. By avoiding errors in subject-verb agreement, you`ll also be contributing to a more professional image and higher SEO ranking for your website.