Verb Disagreement Examples

A common mistake that writers make is having verb disagreement in their sentences. Verb disagreement happens when the subject and the verb in the sentence do not agree in terms of number (singular or plural). This can result in awkwardly constructed sentences that may confuse readers. In this article, we will discuss some common verb disagreement examples and ways to avoid making this error.

1. Subject-Verb Agreement in Singular and Plural

When writing sentences, the subject and the verb must agree in terms of singular or plural forms. Here are some examples of how this agreement works:

– Singular: The cat sleeps on the couch.

– Plural: The cats sleep on the couch.

Here, the verb “sleep” changes from “sleeps” to “sleep” to match each subject`s plurality. This ensures that the sentence is grammatically correct and clearly conveys its meaning.

2. Compound Subjects and Verbs

Another source of confusion for writers is when they use compound subjects or verbs. A compound subject refers to two or more subjects in a sentence, while compound verbs refer to two or more verbs in a sentence. Here are some examples:

– Compound Subject: The dog and the cat chase the ball.

– Compound Verb: I will swim and dive in the pool.

In these examples, the verb “chase” agrees with the plural form of each subject, while the verb “will” agrees with the singular subject “I.”

3. Indefinite Pronouns and Verbs

Indefinite pronouns, such as “everyone,” “anyone,” and “someone,” can also cause confusion in sentences. When using these pronouns, writers must remember that they are singular and require singular verbs. Here are some examples:

– Everyone wants to be happy.

– Someone is knocking at the door.

In these examples, the verb “wants” agrees with the singular form of “everyone,” while “is” agrees with the singular form of “someone.”

4. Collective Nouns and Verbs

Collective nouns, such as “family,” “team,” and “group,” are singular but refer to multiple people or objects. When using collective nouns, writers must remember that they require singular verbs. Here are some examples:

– The team is playing well this season.

– The group is going to the cinema tonight.

In these examples, the verb “is” agrees with the singular form of each collective noun.

In conclusion, verb disagreement can lead to poorly constructed sentences that may confuse readers. Writers must pay attention to the subject-verb agreement in their sentences, especially when dealing with compound subjects or verbs, indefinite pronouns, and collective nouns. By understanding how to correct verb disagreement, writers can produce grammatically correct and clear writing.