Subject-verb agreement is one of the fundamental aspects of grammar in the English language. It is crucial to ensure that the subject and the verb in a sentence agree with each other in terms of number, person, and gender. When the subject and verb do not match, it results in an awkward sentence, leading to confusion and miscommunication. This article will discuss the importance of subject-verb agreement and provide tips on how to identify and correct errors.

What is subject-verb agreement?

Subject-verb agreement refers to the grammatical rule that the subject and verb in a sentence should match each other in number, person, and gender. For instance, if the subject is a singular noun, the verb should also be singular. Similarly, plural subjects take plural verbs, and the same goes for the first, second, and third person.

Why is subject-verb agreement important?

The subject-verb agreement is essential to maintain clarity and precision in writing. A poorly constructed sentence can be confusing to the reader, and the intended meaning can be lost. Proper subject-verb agreement is crucial in academic writing, business writing, and any other form of written communication.

Tips to ensure subject-verb agreement

1. Identify the subject: The first step in ensuring subject-verb agreement is identifying the subject of the sentence. The subject is the noun or pronoun that performs the action in the sentence.

2. Check the number of the subject: Once you have identified the subject, you should determine whether it is singular or plural. Singular subjects require singular verbs, and plural subjects require plural verbs.

3. Determine the person of the subject: Another aspect of subject-verb agreement is the person of the subject. The first, second, and third person will require different verb forms.

4. Avoid intervening phrases: Intervening phrases can complicate subject-verb agreement. It is essential to identify the subject and the verb before analyzing the intervening phrases.

5. Watch out for collective nouns: Collective nouns such as team, family, or committee can be either singular or plural, depending on the context. If the emphasis is on the individual members, it is plural. If the emphasis is on the group, it is singular.

6. Pay attention to indefinite pronouns: Indefinite pronouns such as everyone, somebody, or each require a singular verb because they refer to a single person or thing.

7. Be aware of irregular verbs: Some verbs do not follow the standard rules of conjugation. It is essential to learn the irregular verbs to ensure proper subject-verb agreement.


Subject-verb agreement is a vital aspect of grammar that can impact the clarity and precision of written communication. By following the tips above, you can identify and correct errors in subject-verb agreement. Remember to pay attention to the number, person, and gender of the subject, and review your writing carefully to ensure proper agreement. With practice, you can master subject-verb agreement and improve the quality of your writing.