Subject-verb agreement is a key aspect of English grammar that every student must master. It refers to the correct usage of the verb in a sentence so that it agrees with the subject in number and person. In simple words, the verb must match the number and person of the subject. This is a fundamental rule in English grammar that is essential to get your message across effectively.
Here are some essential tips on subject-verb agreement for Class 12 students:
1. Singular and Plural Nouns
When a sentence has a singular subject, a singular verb is used. Conversely, when the subject is plural, a plural verb is used. For instance, “The boy plays the guitar” is a correct sentence because the subject “boy” is singular, whereas “The boys play the guitar” is correct because the subject “boys” is plural.
2. Compound Subjects
A compound subject consists of two or more subjects joined by “and.” If the subjects are of the same number, use a plural verb. For example, “The dogs and cats chase each other” is correct because both subjects are plural. However, if one subject is singular and the other plural, the verb must agree with the closest subject. For example, “The cat and the dog chase each other” is correct because the nearest subject is “dog,” which is plural.
3. Indefinite Pronouns
Indefinite pronouns, such as someone, everyone, anybody, etc. are always singular. Therefore, a singular verb must be used with them. For instance, “Someone is playing the guitar” is correct because “someone” is singular.
4. Collective Nouns
When a sentence has a collective noun as the subject, the verb can be singular or plural depending on the context. If the collective noun refers to a group acting as a single entity, a singular verb is used. For example, “The team is playing well” is correct because the team acts as a single entity. However, if the collective noun refers to the individuals in the group, a plural verb is used. For example, “The team are in their positions” is correct because the individuals in the team are doing different things.
5. Inverted Sentences
Inverted sentences, where the subject appears after the verb, still require subject-verb agreement. For example, “In the park were two ducks” is a correct sentence because “two ducks” is plural and requires a plural verb.
In conclusion, understanding subject-verb agreement is essential for Class 12 students to communicate effectively in English. By following these tips, students can develop a clear and concise writing style that will help them excel academically as well as in their future careers.