As a copy editor, it is essential to ensure that there is correct subject and verb agreement when using singular and plural nouns in your writing. This is particularly important from an SEO perspective since content that is correctly written will rank higher in search engines. In this article, we will discuss the basics of subject-verb agreement when it comes to singular and plural nouns.
Singular subjects take singular verbs, and plural subjects take plural verbs. This is a simple rule that every writer should keep in mind. For example, “The cat sits on the mat” is correct, while “The cats sit on the mat” is also correct. However, “The cat sit on the mat” is incorrect, and “The cats sits on the mat” is also incorrect.
Sometimes, writers can get confused when the subject is separated from the verb by a group of words, such as a prepositional phrase or a dependent clause. However, the rule remains the same: the verb should agree with the subject. For example, “The book on the table is mine” is correct, while “The book on the table are mine” is incorrect. “The books that are on the table are mine” is correct, while “The books that is on the table are mine” is incorrect.
Another common issue arises when the subject is a collective noun, which is a noun that represents a group of people, animals, or things. Collective nouns can take either singular or plural verbs, depending on the context. For example, “The team is ready to play” is correct because the team is considered as a single unit. However, “The team are arguing among themselves” is also correct since the team is made up of individuals. The writer should choose the verb that best matches their intended meaning.
In conclusion, it is crucial to ensure that there is proper subject-verb agreement in your writing. This makes your content easier to read and understand for your audience, and also improves your search engine rankings. Remember to match singular subjects with singular verbs and plural subjects with plural verbs, even when the subject is separated from the verb by other words. Additionally, be mindful of collective nouns and choose the verb that best matches your intended meaning. By following these simple rules, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and effective.