Possible Subject Verb Agreement

Possible Subject Verb Agreement: A Guide for Writers

As a writer, it is essential to understand grammar rules, especially subject-verb agreement. Correct subject-verb agreement helps to convey thoughts and ideas clearly, making your writing more understandable to readers. In this article, we’ll be discussing possible subject-verb agreement errors writers should avoid.

What is Subject-Verb Agreement?

Subject-verb agreement refers to the agreement between a subject and its corresponding verb in a sentence. In other words, the verb should agree with its subject in terms of number, tense, and person.

For instance, if the subject is singular, the verb should be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb should be plural. Similarly, if the subject is in the present tense, the verb should also be in the present tense, and if the subject is in the past tense, the verb should be in the past tense as well.

Possible Subject-Verb Agreement Errors to Avoid

1. Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns are pronouns that do not refer to a specific person or thing. Examples include anyone, everyone, somebody, each, and every. These pronouns can cause errors in subject-verb agreement because they may be singular or plural depending on the context.

For instance, the pronoun “everyone” is singular and should take a singular verb, but the pronoun “some” can be singular or plural. Therefore, it is important to check the context to avoid subject-verb agreement errors.

2. Collective Nouns

Collective nouns refer to a group of individuals as a single entity. Examples include team, family, and audience. In subject-verb agreement with collective nouns, it is important to consider the context and whether the noun is acting as a single entity or as individuals in the sentence.

For example, the sentence “The team is practicing” uses a singular verb because the team is acting as a single entity. However, the sentence “The team members are practicing” requires a plural verb because the team members are acting as individuals.

3. Compound Subjects

When there are two or more subjects in a sentence joined by “and,” the verb should be plural. For instance, the sentence “John and Mary are going to the movies” requires a plural verb because it has two subjects.

However, if the subjects joined by “and” refer to the same thing, the verb should be singular. For example, the sentence “Mac and cheese is my favorite food” requires a singular verb because “mac and cheese” is considered a single dish.


Subject-verb agreement errors can affect the clarity of your writing and should be avoided. As a writer, it is important to understand the rules of subject-verb agreement, particularly with indefinite pronouns, collective nouns, and compound subjects. By avoiding these errors, your writing will be more grammatically correct and understandable to readers.