One of the most common mistakes in writing is incorrect subject-verb agreement. The subject and verb in a sentence must agree in number. This means that if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural. To help you improve your subject-verb agreement skills, we have compiled a list of concord exercises.
Exercise 1: Identifying the Subject
In this exercise, you will need to identify the subject of the sentence and choose the correct verb form.
The cat (is/are) sleeping on the mat.
Answer: The cat is sleeping on the mat.
Explanation: The subject is “the cat”, which is singular, so the verb should also be singular.
1. The girls (plays/play) outside.
2. My sister and I (is/are) going to the store.
3. The book on the shelf (needs/need) to be dusted.
Exercise 2: Collective Nouns
In this exercise, you will need to determine whether the collective noun is singular or plural and choose the appropriate verb form.
The team (is/are) practicing for the game.
Answer: The team is practicing for the game.
Explanation: Even though “team” refers to a group of people, it is a singular noun and therefore requires a singular verb.
1. The family (is/are) going on vacation.
2. The jury (deliberate/deliberates) on the verdict.
3. The committee (meet/meets) twice a month.
Exercise 3: Indefinite Pronouns
In this exercise, you will need to match the indefinite pronoun to the correct verb form.
Everyone (has/have) their own opinion.
Answer: Everyone has their own opinion.
Explanation: Even though “everyone” refers to a group of people, it is considered a singular indefinite pronoun and requires a singular verb.
1. None of the students (has/have) finished their homework.
2. Either the blue or the green shirt (looks/look) good on you.
3. Each of the guests (brings/bring) a dish to the party.
By practicing these concord exercises, you can improve your subject-verb agreement skills and avoid common grammatical mistakes. Remember to always match the subject and verb in number to ensure your writing is clear and grammatically correct.