Subject-verb agreement is crucial to write error-free content. However, certain nouns are exceptions to the traditional rules of subject-verb agreement. These special nouns require unique verb agreement rules to avoid confusion in the text.
Let’s take a closer look at these special nouns and their verb agreement rules:
These nouns refer to a group of people or things that act as a single unit, such as team, family, committee, or staff. When you use collective nouns as subjects, you must decide whether the group is acting as a single unit or as individuals.
– When the group acts as a single unit, use a singular verb. Example: The team is playing well this season.
– When the group acts as individuals, use a plural verb. Example: The team members are warming up before the game.
Indefinite pronouns refer to nonspecific people or things, such as anyone, everyone, somebody, each, or either. When you use indefinite pronouns as subjects, you must choose the correct verb agreement based on the pronoun’s meaning.
– Singular indefinite pronouns require a singular verb. Example: Somebody is at the door.
– Plural indefinite pronouns require a plural verb. Example: Both of the twins are playing outside.
Singular Nouns that appear Plural
Some singular nouns, such as news, mathematics, or physics, appear plural but are singular in meaning. When you use these nouns as subjects, use a singular verb.
– Example: The news is always changing.
Proper Nouns that are Plural
Proper nouns that are plural in form, such as the United States, the Philippines, or the Netherlands, require a plural verb.
– Example: The Netherlands are famous for their cheese.
Gerunds are verb forms ending in -ing that act as nouns in a sentence. When you use gerunds as subjects, use a singular verb.
– Example: Playing basketball is my favorite hobby.
Infinitives are verb forms that are typically preceded by “to” and act as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs in a sentence. When you use infinitives as subjects, use a singular verb.
– Example: To win the race is my ultimate goal.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of writing that should not be overlooked. However, it is crucial to understand the special nouns’ verb agreement rules to avoid errors in your content. By following these rules, you can ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and error-free.