Concord Agreement between Subject and Verb

The concord agreement between subject and verb is an essential rule in English grammar that ensures the coherence and clarity of a sentence. This rule stipulates that the verb of a sentence must agree in number with its subject, thereby establishing a clear relationship between the two. Failure to follow the concord agreement can lead to confusion, ambiguity, and poor writing that might negatively impact search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

The subject of a sentence can either be singular or plural, depending on whether it refers to a single person, thing or multiple ones. For example, « The dog barks » has a singular subject— »dog »—and a singular verb— »barks. » Conversely, « The dogs bark » has a plural subject— »dogs »—and a plural verb— »bark. » The concord agreement between subject and verb is straightforward when dealing with simple sentences. However, it becomes more complex when dealing with compound subjects or intervening phrases and clauses.

When a sentence has a compound subject, meaning it has two or more subjects, the verb must agree with the subject closest to it. For instance, « John and Mary are coming home » has a compound subject « John » and « Mary » and a plural verb « are. » The same rule applies to compound subjects joined by « or » and « nor, » where the verb agrees with the subject closest to it. For example, « Neither the cat nor the dog is allowed on the couch » has a singular verb « is, » because the nearest subject « dog » is singular.

Intervening phrases and clauses between a subject and the verb can obscure the concord agreement, leading to incorrect verb usage. For instance, « The book, along with the pens, was found on the desk » is correct because the singular verb « was » agrees with the singular subject « book. » However, « The book, along with the pens, were found on the desk » is incorrect because the plural verb « were » does not agree with the singular subject « book. »

In conclusion, the concord agreement between subject and verb is a grammatical rule that is vital in producing clear and well-written sentences. By adhering to this rule, writers can avoid ambiguity and confusion, leading to better readability and SEO performance. Remember to match the subject and verb`s number, even in complex sentences with multiple subjects and intervening phrases to ensure concord agreement.