Which of the following Contains an Error in Subject-Verb Agreement

As a copy editor, it is essential to have a keen eye for details, especially when it comes to grammar rules such as subject-verb agreement. This rule dictates that the subject and verb in a sentence should agree in number, meaning that a singular subject should have a singular verb and a plural subject should have a plural verb. Unfortunately, errors in subject-verb agreement are common, even among professional writers and speakers.

To help you identify errors in subject-verb agreement, we have prepared a short quiz. Read each sentence carefully and choose which one contains an error in subject-verb agreement.

1. The group of students is planning a trip to the museum.

2. The books on the shelf needs to be dusted.

3. Neither the teacher nor the students knows the answer.

4. The company with all its employees is relocating to a new office.

If you chose sentence number two, then you are correct. The error in this sentence lies in the subject-verb agreement between “books” and “needs.” “Books” is a plural noun, while “needs” is a singular verb. To correct this sentence, we can simply change “needs” to “need,” as in “The books on the shelf need to be dusted.”

The other three sentences all demonstrate proper subject-verb agreement. In sentence one, “group” is a singular noun and so is the verb “is.” Sentence three uses the singular verb “knows” to match the singular subject “teacher” and also follows the rule that in a sentence with nor, the verb agrees with the closest noun. Finally, sentence four uses the singular verb “is” to agree with the singular noun “company” and not the plural noun “employees.”

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is an important grammar rule that should not be overlooked. Errors in this area can make your writing or speech seem unprofessional and unclear. By taking the time to review your work carefully, you can avoid these errors and ensure that your message is effectively conveyed to your audience.