When it comes to writing, one of the most important aspects is ensuring proper verb agreement. This means that the verb in a sentence must agree in tense, person, and number with the subject of that sentence. However, sometimes writers can become confused when it comes to verb agreement phrases, which can lead to errors in their writing. In this article, we`ll take a closer look at what verb agreement phrases are, how they can impact your writing, and some tips to help you use them correctly.
What is a Verb Agreement Phrase?
Verb agreement phrases are phrases that appear between the subject and the verb in a sentence. These phrases often contain words such as “as well as,” “along with,” “in addition to,” and “including.” When these phrases appear in a sentence, they can make it difficult to determine the correct verb to use.
For example, consider the following sentence:
“The cat, as well as the dog, chases after the ball.”
In this sentence, the subject is “the cat,” but there is also a verb agreement phrase “as well as the dog.” This can make it difficult to determine the correct verb to use. Should it be “chases,” to agree with “the cat,” or “chase,” to agree with “the dog”?
The answer is that the correct verb to use is “chases,” because it agrees with the subject “the cat.” Even though there is another noun present in the sentence, the verb agrees with the main subject, which is “the cat.”
Why are Verb Agreement Phrases Important?
Using the correct verb in a sentence is essential for clear and effective communication. When verb agreement is incorrect, it can create confusion and make the sentence difficult to understand. This can be especially important in areas such as academic writing, where precision and clarity are paramount.
Additionally, proper verb agreement can impact how your content is viewed by search engines. SEO algorithms often prioritize content that is well-written and grammatically correct, so using verb agreement phrases correctly can help improve your search engine rankings.
Tips for Using Verb Agreement Phrases Correctly
To ensure that your writing is clear and effective, it`s important to use verb agreement phrases correctly. Here are a few tips to help you use them correctly:
1. Identify the main subject of the sentence, and make sure the verb agrees with it.
In most cases, the main subject of the sentence will be the noun that appears before the verb agreement phrase. Make sure that the verb agrees with this subject, even if there are other nouns present in the sentence.
2. Keep verb agreement phrases close to the subject of the sentence.
In general, it`s best to keep verb agreement phrases as close to the subject of the sentence as possible. This can help prevent confusion and ensure that the verb agrees with the correct noun.
3. Use singular verbs with singular nouns, and plural verbs with plural nouns.
This is a basic rule of grammar, but it`s important to keep in mind when using verb agreement phrases. If the subject of the sentence is singular, use a singular verb. If the subject is plural, use a plural verb.
4. Use your ear to check for errors.
Sometimes it can be difficult to determine the correct verb to use, even when following these rules. In these cases, it can be helpful to read the sentence out loud and see if it sounds correct. Your ear can often pick up on errors that your eyes may have missed.
In conclusion, verb agreement phrases can be tricky, but with a little practice and attention to detail, you can use them correctly in your writing. By following these tips and ensuring that your verbs agree with the main subject of your sentence, you can create clear and effective content that is optimized for SEO.