The author S.A. Joo's Writing & Editing Advice & Tips

A professional Editor and YA Writer, represented by Black Hawk Literary Agency.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Subject-Verb Agreement: The Most Common Mistake Writers Make

Simplified Subject-Verb Agreement

This is the most common grammar error made by every writer besides punctuation errors. Here are the simplified rules of subject-verb agreement. There are many rules and exceptions; however, I’ll just note the top three because to list them all would take multiple pages. Turning this into an English lecture is not what I want.

Here. A singular subject (Mom, he, store, Sandy) takes a singular verb (is, goes, opens, has). A plural subject (parents, they, stores, Sandy and Tom) takes a plural verb (are, go, open, have). Simple, right? Well, here are the three key points to remember.

Point 1: A phrase beginning of a word “of” creates one of the most commonly made subject-verb mistakes.

Example: One of the parents is angry.

Explanation: The subject is one, which is singular, so the verb is singular is.

Point 2: The verb in an or, either/or, or neither/nor sentence agrees with the noun or pronoun closest to it.

Examples: Neither Mom nor Dad is available.
                  Either he or she is available to volunteer

Explanation: Both subjects are singular, so the verb is also singular.

Example: Neither the serving bowl nor the plates go on that shelf.

Explanation: The subject closest to the verb is plates (plural), so the verb is plural.

Point 3: Use a plural verb for two or more subjects when connected by “and.”

Example: A book “and” a pencil are all I need to study.

Exception: When “and” is a part of a compound nouns, use a singular verb. 

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Friday, May 24, 2019

Synopsis of my YA novel BODY JUMPING

BODY JUMPING: synopsis

Korean American teen socialite Korina Park, 15, has it all: gorgeous looks, perfect mom, adoring friends, a fat trust fund. Living in a fabulous suburb of Los Angeles and attending a prestigious private school, Korina’s biggest worry is planning her Sweet Sixteen party. That is until her life is rudely interrupted when a weird phenomenon suddenly yanks her out of her body and plops into the body of 16-year-old Daniel Scott. Unlike Korina, he has no social life and lives with his doting parents in a small house somewhere in Ohio. All they have in common is that they are both only children.

Whisked back home, Korina handles it pretty well. Nonchalantly hoping it will stop as mysteriously as it began, she decides not to tell anybody. Who would believe her? When the phenomenon repeats itselfit happens without warning at any time of day or night—she names it body jumping.

To amuse herself while she’s in Dan’s body, Korina decides to rescue him from his pathetic social life by hooking him up with his childhood friend and neighbor, Jody, since she’s been crushing on him for years. Back home again, Korina finds herself a perfect boyfriend named Alex. But her existence is becoming increasingly hard to manage as she is plucked out of her body at the most inopportune times. Adding to her misery, the time in Dan’s body becomes longer than the time in her own, and chunks of time are missing between the jumps.

Korina starts to fear the next jump might be her last, trapping her in Dan’s body forever. Desperate, she reveals her secret to Jody. Jody is soon convinced by the evidence and agrees to help Korina search for the answer. The strange thing is that no phone numbers or text messages work; Korina’s existence cannot be proven in Dan’s timeline, and his can’t be found in hers.