Subject-verb agreement, also known as subject-predicate agreement, is a grammatical rule that dictates that the verb or predicate in a sentence should agree in number with the subject. In simpler terms, if the subject of the sentence is singular, the verb should also be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb should be plural too.
But what happens when the subject of the sentence is not as straightforward as a singular or plural noun? That`s where “subject affect agreement” comes into play.
Subject affect agreement refers to the way in which the subject of a sentence affects the agreement of the verb or predicate. Specifically, it applies to situations where the subject of the sentence is a collective noun or a singular noun that represents a group of people or things.
Let`s take the following examples to illustrate:
– The committee is divided on the issue.
– My family is going on vacation.
In both cases, the subject of the sentence is a singular noun that represents a group of people or things. However, the verb used in the sentence is singular, not plural. This is because the subject here is considered as a single unit, even though it is made up of multiple individuals.
On the other hand, if we were to use a plural verb in these sentences, it would suggest that the individuals within the group are acting independently, which would not be the intended meaning.
– The committee are divided on the issue.
– My family are going on vacation.
In these cases, the plural verb suggests that each member of the committee or family is divided or going on vacation separately, which is not what the speaker intends.
It`s important to note that subject affect agreement is not limited to collective nouns or singular nouns that represent groups. It can also apply to singular nouns that are preceded by certain words, such as “each,” “every,” “either,” “neither,” and “everyone.”
– Each student in the class has their own laptop.
– Everyone in the room was surprised.
In both cases, the subject is technically singular, but because of the words that precede them, they are treated as a group, and therefore, the verb used in the sentence should be plural.
In summary, subject affect agreement is an important grammatical rule to keep in mind when writing and editing content. By understanding how the subject of the sentence affects the agreement of the verb or predicate, you can ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct.