Subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of proper grammar rules. It refers to the consistency between the subject and verb in a sentence. In a sentence, the subject is the individual, thing, or thought that the sentence is about, while the verb is the action that the subject is performing. In other words, a subject and a verb must agree in number, meaning that both must be singular or plural. Here are some general rules to follow for subject-verb agreement.

1. Match singular subjects with singular verbs and plural subjects with plural verbs.

For example, “The dog barks” (singular subject and singular verb) or “The dogs bark” (plural subject and plural verb).

2. Be cautious with phrases that separate the subject from the verb.

For example, “The book, as well as the pen, is on the table” is correct because the subject is singular, while “The book, as well as the pens, are on the table” is incorrect as the subject here is plural.

3. Be careful with compound subjects.

When two or more subjects are joined by “and”, the verb should be plural.

For example, “The cat and the dog are playing” (two subjects joined by “and”).

4. Know the difference between collective nouns and plural nouns.

A collective noun refers to a group of individuals, while a plural noun refers to multiple individuals. Collective nouns usually take singular verbs.

For example, “The team is playing well” (collective noun with a singular verb) or “The employees are working hard” (plural noun with a plural verb).

5. Remember that some nouns ending in “s” are singular.

For example, “Mathematics is a challenging subject” (singular subject) or “The news is not good” (singular subject).

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is critical to effective communication, and following these general rules can help ensure that your sentences are grammatically correct. By matching subjects with verbs, you can make your writing more precise and readable. Remember to pay attention to the number of subjects and verbs, as well as the types of nouns used. With practice and attention to detail, you can master subject-verb agreement and improve your writing.