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Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental rule of English grammar that ensures that the subject and verb in a sentence agree with each other in number. This means that if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural. Failure to abide by this rule can lead to ambiguity and confusion within a sentence and reduce the clarity and effectiveness of your writing.

Here are the most important rules to remember when it comes to subject-verb agreement:

1. Singular subjects require singular verbs, and plural subjects require plural verbs.

It`s essential to ensure that your subject and verb match in number. For example, “He plays soccer” has a singular subject (“he”) and a singular verb (“plays”). In contrast, “They play soccer” has a plural subject (“they”) and a plural verb (“play”).

2. Compound subjects joined by “and” require a plural verb.

When two or more subjects are joined by “and,” the verb that follows must be plural. For example, “John and Lisa are going to the party” has compound subjects (“John” and “Lisa”) and a plural verb (“are”).

3. Singular subjects joined by “or” or “nor” require a singular verb.

When two singular subjects are joined by “or” or “nor,” the verb that follows must be singular. For example, “Neither the dog nor the cat likes vegetables” has two singular subjects (“dog” and “cat”) and a singular verb (“likes”).

4. Expressions of quantity take a singular verb.

Expressions of quantity such as “each,” “every,” “either,” “neither,” “one,” “none,” and “everyone” require a singular verb. For example, “Each student has a different schedule” has an expression of quantity (“each student”) and a singular verb (“has”).

5. Indefinite pronouns take a singular or plural verb depending on the context.

Indefinite pronouns such as “everybody,” “nobody,” “someone,” and “anyone” can take either a singular or plural verb depending on the context of the sentence. For example, “Everybody is here” has an indefinite pronoun (“everybody”) that takes a singular verb (“is”), whereas “Somebody left their phone behind” has an indefinite pronoun (“somebody”) that takes a plural verb (“left”).

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is a crucial rule that can make or break the clarity of your writing. By following these most important rules, you can ensure that your sentences are grammatically correct, easy to read, and convey your intended meaning effectively.