Agreement of Verb

Agreement of Verb: The Key to Clear and Effective Writing

As a copy editor, one of the most common mistakes I come across in written content is a lack of agreement between the subject and the verb. This may seem like a minor issue, but it can have a significant impact on the clarity and effectiveness of your writing.

What is agreement of verb?

Agreement of verb refers to the relationship between the subject and the verb in a sentence. In simpler terms, it means that the verb should agree with the subject in terms of number and person. For example, if the subject is singular, the verb should be singular as well. Similarly, if the subject is plural, the verb should be plural.

Why is it important?

Agreement of verb is essential in writing because it ensures that your sentences make sense and convey your intended meaning. When the verb does not agree with the subject, it can lead to confusion and ambiguity, making it difficult for readers to understand what you are trying to say.

Moreover, incorrect verb agreement can make your writing sound unprofessional and careless, which can negatively impact your credibility as a writer. It may also affect your website`s search engine ranking because search engines favor well-written content that follows grammatical rules.

How to ensure agreement of verb in your writing?

Here are some tips to help you ensure agreement of verb in your writing:

1. Pay attention to the subject and verb in each sentence. Identify the subject and determine whether it is singular or plural, and then choose the appropriate verb form accordingly.

2. Use singular verbs with singular indefinite pronouns, such as anyone, everyone, someone, and nobody.

3. In compound subjects joined by “and,” use a plural verb.

4. In compound subjects joined by “or,” use a verb that agrees with the nearest subject.

5. Be careful with collective nouns, such as team, family, and staff. Use a singular verb if you are referring to the group as a whole but a plural verb if you are referring to the individuals within the group.

6. When writing about time or distance, use a singular verb even if the subject is plural. For example, “Five miles is a long way to walk.”

Final thoughts

Agreement of verb is one of the most basic and fundamental concepts in English grammar, but it is also one of the most critical. By ensuring that your verbs agree with their subjects, you can make your writing clear, effective, and professional. So, take the time to review your writing to make sure that you are following this essential rule, and you will see the difference it makes in your content.