Subject Verb Agreement for Plural Nouns

Subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of English grammar that ensures that the subject and the verb of a sentence match in number. When it comes to plural nouns, many writers mistakenly assume that they can use the singular form of the verb, but this is not correct. It is essential to use the appropriate form of the verb that agrees with the number of the plural noun.

Here are some useful tips for understanding subject-verb agreement with plural nouns:

1. Plural subjects take plural verbs.

When a sentence has a plural subject, it requires a plural verb. For instance, « The dogs are barking, » the verb `are` agrees with the plural subject `dogs.`

2. Indefinite pronouns used as subjects may take singular or plural verbs.

Indefinite pronouns like `everyone`, `someone`, `anyone` and `nobody` can be used as singular or plural. If the indefinite pronoun is referring to a group of people, use a plural verb; if it refers to one person, use a singular verb. For example, « Everyone is happy, » and « Everyone has their opinions » are both grammatically correct.

3. Compound subjects require a plural verb.

When a sentence has two or more subjects joined by `and`, the verb must be plural. For instance, « The dogs and cats are playing in the yard. » In this sentence, the verb `are` agrees with the two plural subjects `dogs` and `cats`.

4. Always use plural verbs with words that signify amounts.

Words that imply an amount such as `number, percentage, fraction, many, several, and most` indicate that the subject is plural. In sentences such as « A large number of people are attending the conference, » the verb `are` agrees with the plural subject `people`.

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is an essential part of English grammar, and using the appropriate verb form to match the number of the subject is crucial. With a good understanding of the rules, you can easily avoid grammatical errors and convey your message accurately. Remember to always use plural verbs with plural nouns, compound subjects, and words signifying amounts to ensure proper subject-verb agreement.

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