Subject Verb Agreement Rule Number 11
As a copy editor, one of the most important rules to follow when it comes to grammar is subject-verb agreement. This rule states that the subject of a sentence must agree with the verb in terms of number and person. While there are many rules to follow when it comes to subject-verb agreement, there is one specific rule that is particularly important to keep in mind: subject-verb agreement rule number 11.
Subject-verb agreement rule number 11 applies to sentences that contain “compound subjects” – that is, sentences where two or more subjects are connected by a conjunction such as “and.” In these instances, the verb in the sentence must agree with the subject’s closest to it in terms of number and person.
For example, consider the sentence: “John and his friends are going to the movies.” In this sentence, the compound subject is “John and his friends,” and the verb is “are.” Because the closest subject to the verb is “friends,” which is plural, the verb must also be plural.
However, there are some instances where subject-verb agreement can be a bit more complicated. For example, consider the sentence: “The dog and the cat is sleeping.” In this sentence, the verb “is” is used to describe an action being performed by both the dog and the cat. However, because the subjects are connected by the conjunction “and,” the verb should be plural instead of singular, making the correct sentence “The dog and the cat are sleeping.”
While subject-verb agreement rule number 11 may seem straightforward, it can be easy to forget in the midst of writing or editing. To ensure that your writing is grammatically correct, always remember to consider the number and person of your subjects, and use the appropriate verb to match. By keeping track of these rules, you can ensure that your writing is always clear, concise, and easy to read.