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Agreement Singular or Plural Verb

Agreement: Singular or Plural Verb?

When it comes to sentence structure, one of the most important rules to follow is subject-verb agreement. This means that the verb in a sentence should agree with the subject, either in singular or plural form. This is a crucial aspect of grammar that helps ensure clarity and coherence in your writing. In this article, we will focus on the topic of agreement in singular or plural verbs.

Basic Rules for Subject-Verb Agreement

To understand the concept of subject-verb agreement, you need to know your basic grammar rules. First, a subject is a noun or pronoun that performs the action of a sentence. A verb, on the other hand, is an action word that describes the action of the subject. To make a sentence grammatically correct, the subject and verb should match in number. Here are some basic rules for subject-verb agreement:

– A singular subject takes a singular verb.

Example: The dog barks in the morning.

– A plural subject takes a plural verb.

Example: The dogs bark in the morning.

– Indefinite pronouns, such as everyone, someone, anyone, nobody, need a singular verb.

Example: Everyone wants to go to the party.

– Compound subjects connected by and take a plural verb.

Example: Tom and Jerry are coming to the party.

– When the verb follows a prepositional phrase, the subject still determines the number of the verb.

Example: The book on the shelf belongs to me.

Singular and Plural Verbs in Writing

In writing, it is important to maintain consistency in subject-verb agreement. This can be tricky in certain situations, particularly when the subject is complex or ambiguous. Here are some examples of situations where singular or plural verbs may be used:

– Collective nouns are singular, but they can take either a singular or plural verb depending on the intended meaning of the sentence. For instance, team, jury, committee, etc.

Example: The team is ready to win the game. (singular verb)

Example: The team are arguing about their positions. (plural verb)

– Subjects connected by or or nor take a verb that agrees with the closer subject.

Example: Neither the cat nor the dog is coming to the party.

Example: Either the cat or the dogs are coming to the party.

– When the subject is separated from the verb by a long phrase or clause, it can be easy to make a mistake in agreement.

Example: Running down the street, the cat and the dog were tired. (incorrect)

Example: Running down the street, the cat and the dog were tired. (correct)


Subject-verb agreement is crucial in writing. It ensures that your writing is clear and coherent. To maintain consistency in agreement, you need to pay attention to the subject and verb in your sentences. Make sure that they match in number, whether singular or plural. By following the basic rules of agreement, you can make sure that your writing is grammatically correct and easy to read.