When it comes to crafting error-free and search engine optimized content, proper grammar is key. One common grammar rule that writers and editors alike must master is subject-verb agreement, especially when it comes to compound subjects.
A compound subject is a subject that consists of two or more nouns or pronouns joined by a conjunction such as «and» or «or.» As a general rule, the verb used in a sentence should agree in number (singular or plural) with the subject it refers to. This means that if the subject is singular, the verb should be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb should be plural.
So, how do you determine the number of the compound subject? It`s simple – just look at the nouns or pronouns joined by the conjunction. If both nouns or pronouns refer to the same thing or idea, the subject is singular, and the verb should be singular. For example, «The sun and the moon shine brightly» – since the subject is only one natural phenomenon (the sun and the moon), the verb «shine» agrees with it in number.
However, if the nouns or pronouns refer to different things or ideas, the subject is plural, and the verb should be plural. For instance, «John and Emily are going to the party» – here, the subject is made up of two different individuals, so the verb «are» agrees with the plural subject.
It`s crucial to keep in mind that determining subject-verb agreement can be tricky when dealing with compound subjects that are separated by prepositional phrases or other words. In such cases, it`s essential to identify the real subject of the sentence to ensure proper agreement with the verb. For example, in the sentence «The study, as well as the class, is canceled,» the real subject is «study,» and therefore the verb «is» is singular.
In conclusion, mastering subject-verb agreement is vital to crafting grammatically sound and SEO-friendly content. By understanding the rules governing compound subjects, you can ensure your writing reflects proper grammar and gains traction with search engines. So, take the time to identify compound subjects in your writing and ensure their verbs agree in number. Your readers (and search engine algorithms) will thank you for it!