An editor with 13 years of experience, I currently work for an online editing company and do freelance work. I'm also a writer represented by Black Hawk Literary Agency. I've created this blog to help the fellow writers with writing & editing tips and advice. I'll continue to post on subjects I come up with or have been requested/suggested by others. Meanwhile, I have my fingers crossed for the release date of my YA novel BODY JUMPING.
The author S.A. Joo's Writing & Editing Advice & Tips
A professional Editorwww.sirraedits.com and YA Writer, represented by Black Hawk Literary Agency.
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Subject-Verb Agreement: The Most Common Mistake Writers Make
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
Point 1: A phrase
beginning of a word “of” creates one of the most commonly made subject-verb
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
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
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