Tests on Subject Verb Agreement

Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental concept of grammar that determines the relationship between the subject and the verb in a sentence. This rule states that the verb must agree in number with the subject. This means that if the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb should also be plural. Any deviation from this rule can result in grammatical errors and confusion for the reader.

To ensure that your writing is free of subject-verb agreement errors, it is essential to run tests on your sentences. Here are some tests that can help you identify and correct such errors.

1. Check the Number of the Subject

The first step in testing for subject-verb agreement is identifying the number of your subject. If the subject is singular, then the verb should be singular. If it`s plural, then the verb should be plural. To do this, you need to ask yourself the question “Who or what is the subject?” in the sentence.

2. Use the Singular/Plural Marker

Another way to test for subject-verb agreement is to use the singular or plural marker. This method involves replacing the subject with a singular or plural pronoun, depending on the number, to see if the verb agrees with the new subject. For instance:

– Singular marker: “He runs every day.” (Subject: He; verb: runs)

– Plural marker: “They run every day.” (Subject: They; verb: run)

3. Change the Tense

Changing the tense of the sentence can also help you identify subject-verb agreement errors. For instance:

– Present tense: “She writes every day.” (Subject: She; verb: writes)

– Past tense: “She wrote every day.” (Subject: She; verb: wrote)

By doing this, you can see if the verb in the sentence agrees with the subject in both tense and number.

4. Use the Collective Noun Rule

Collective nouns refer to a group of people, animals, or things as a single unit. Examples of collective nouns include team, family, army, and audience. To test for subject-verb agreement with collective nouns, you need to consider whether the noun is singular or plural.

– Singular: “The team is playing well.” (Subject: Team; verb: is playing)

– Plural: “The family are arguing over dinner.” (Subject: Family; verb: are arguing)

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is an essential concept in grammar that every writer should be familiar with. By employing the above tests, you can ensure that your writing is free of such errors and effectively communicates your message. Remember, a well-written document is not only grammatically correct but also easy to understand.