The rules of agreement subject in English grammar refer to the agreement between the subject and the verb in a sentence. It is an essential aspect of proper language usage and can have a significant impact on the clarity and effectiveness of communication.
The basic rule of agreement subject is that a singular subject requires a singular verb, and a plural subject requires a plural verb. For example, “The dog barks” uses the singular subject “dog” and the singular verb “barks.” Conversely, “The dogs bark” uses the plural subject “dogs” and the plural verb “bark.”
However, there are several exceptions to this basic rule of agreement subject. The first exception is when a collective noun is used as the subject of the sentence. A collective noun refers to a group of people, animals, or things considered as a single unit. Examples of collective nouns include “team,” “family,” and “government.”
When a collective noun is used as the subject, it can take either a singular or a plural verb, depending on the context of the sentence. For example, “The team is playing well” uses the singular verb “is” because the team is considered as a single unit. In contrast, “The team are arguing about the decision” uses the plural verb “are” because the team members are viewed as individuals.
The second exception is when the subject and verb are separated by words such as “along with,” “together with,” or “as well as.” In these cases, the verb should agree with the subject and not the words in between. For example, “The teacher, along with her students, enjoys reading” uses the singular verb “enjoys” because the subject of the sentence is “teacher.”
The third exception is when the subject is an indefinite pronoun, such as “everyone,” “nobody,” or “someone.” In these cases, the verb should always be singular, regardless of whether the pronoun refers to a singular or plural concept. For example, “Everyone is responsible for their actions” uses the singular verb “is” even though “their” is plural.
In conclusion, while the basic rule of agreement subject requires a singular subject to take a singular verb and a plural subject to take a plural verb, there are several exceptions to this rule. These exceptions include collective nouns, subject-verb separation by certain words, and indefinite pronouns. Understanding and applying these rules of agreement subject can help ensure clear and effective communication in written and spoken English.