When it comes to writing, one of the most common grammatical mistakes is the incorrect agreement of verbs with singular or plural nouns. This may seem like a small error, but it can make a big difference in how your content is perceived by readers and search engines.
In order to avoid this mistake, it’s important to know how verb agreement works with singular and plural nouns.
A singular noun refers to one person, place, thing, or idea. When using a singular noun, the verb that follows should also be singular. For example:
– The dog barks loudly.
– The teacher teaches math.
– The car needs a new battery.
A plural noun refers to more than one person, place, thing, or idea. When using a plural noun, the verb that follows should also be plural. For example:
– The dogs bark loudly.
– The teachers teach math.
– The cars need new batteries.
When using a subject-verb agreement, the verb should agree with the subject of the sentence, whether it is singular or plural. For example:
– The dog barks loudly. (singular subject and verb)
– The dogs bark loudly. (plural subject and verb)
– The teacher teaches math. (singular subject and verb)
– The teachers teach math. (plural subject and verb)
A collective noun refers to a group of people, animals, or things. Examples of collective nouns include team, group, band, or family. When using a collective noun, the verb that follows can be either singular or plural, depending on how the group is being referred to. For example:
– The team is playing tonight. (singular verb)
– The team are playing tonight. (plural verb)
In this example, the first sentence suggests that the team is playing as a unit, while the second sentence suggests that the individual members of the team are playing.
As a copy editor, it’s important to be aware of verb agreement with singular and plural nouns. When editing content, pay close attention to subject-verb agreement and ensure that the correct verb form is used. By doing so, you will help to ensure that the content is clear, accurate, and easy to understand for readers and search engines alike.