When it comes to writing, one of the most important aspects to keep in mind is proper verb agreement. This refers to the need for the verb to correctly match the subject in a sentence. While this may seem like a simple rule to follow, there are common mistakes that writers tend to make, especially when it comes to more complex sentences.

One common problem is subject-verb disagreement in compound sentences. A compound sentence consists of two or more independent clauses that are joined by a coordinating conjunction such as „and,“ „or,“ or „but.“ In this case, the verb should agree with the subject in the clause it modifies, not with the entire sentence. For example, consider the sentence, „The cat and dog runs in the park.“ This sentence is incorrect because „runs“ agrees only with the singular subject „cat,“ while „dog“ is plural. The sentence should be rewritten as, „The cat runs and the dog run in the park.“

Another mistake is the confusion between singular and plural nouns. When the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular, and vice versa. However, there are some nouns that can be both singular and plural, such as „deer“ and „sheep.“ In this case, the verb should agree with the number of the noun. For example, „The deer jumps over the fence,“ is correct because „deer“ is singular, while „The deer jump over the fence,“ is incorrect because „deer“ is plural.

It is also important to note the distinction between collective nouns and common nouns. Collective nouns refer to a group of people or things that act as a single unit, such as „team,“ „family,“ and „government.“ When using a collective noun as the subject, the verb should agree with the noun as a single unit. For example, „The team is playing well,“ is correct because „team“ is a singular unit. However, „The team are playing well,“ is incorrect because it implies that the team is made up of individuals instead of acting as a single unit.

In conclusion, proper verb agreement is crucial in writing to ensure clear and effective communication. Remember to pay attention to subject-verb agreement in compound sentences, singular and plural nouns, and the use of collective nouns. By avoiding these common mistakes, your writing will be more polished and effective in getting your message across.