Proper agreement of the verb with the subject is an essential aspect of English grammar. Unfortunately, many people struggle with this aspect of writing and often make mistakes that can affect the clarity and coherence of their written work.
To ensure that your writing is grammatically correct, it is imperative to practice exercises that reinforce the agreement of verbs with their subjects. Here are some exercises that can help you improve your verb-subject agreement skills.
1. Identify the subject and verb
The first step in mastering verb-subject agreement is to learn how to identify them. The subject is the noun or pronoun in a sentence that performs the action, and the verb is the action word.
To practice this, take some sentences from your favorite book or article and underline the subject and verb. Once you have identified them, check if the verb agrees with the subject in terms of number and tense.
For instance, in the sentence, „The dog barks at the mailman,” the subject is „the dog,” and the verb is „barks.” The verb agrees with the singular subject in terms of number.
2. Match the subject with the verb
The second exercise involves matching the subject with the correct verb. To do this, ensure that the verb agrees with the subject in terms of number, gender, and tense.
For example, in the sentence, „The group of friends are/ is coming to the party.” The correct verb is „is” since the subject, „group of friends,” is singular.
Another example is, „The students, as well as the teacher, (was/were) impressed with the performance.” The correct verb is „were” since there are two subjects, „students” and „teacher.”
3. Practice with examples
Finally, it is crucial to practice with examples. You can either create your examples or use pre-existing ones. Ensure that you pay attention to the different types of subjects to reinforce your knowledge of verb-subject agreement.
For instance, consider the following sentences:
– My sister and I (am/are) going to the mall.
– Each of the students (has/have) a unique talent.
– Either the manager or his assistant (is/are) going to attend the meeting.
In the first sentence, the correct verb is „are” since there are two subjects. In the second sentence, „has” is the correct verb since „each” is a singular pronoun. Lastly, in the third sentence, the correct verb is „is” since „either/or” means singular.
In conclusion, mastering the agreement of verbs with their subjects requires practice and attention to detail. By following these exercises, you can improve your grammar and write more effectively. Remember always to review your work to ensure that the verb agrees with the subject. Happy writing!