Subject-verb agreement is an important aspect of proper grammar that every writer, including copy editors, must be familiar with. This grammatical concept refers to the agreement between the subject of a sentence and the verb used to describe it. When the subject changes from singular to plural or vice versa, the verb must also change accordingly.
As a copy editor, one of your primary duties is to identify and correct errors with subject-verb agreement in the pieces of content you work with. There are several common mistakes that writers make when it comes to subject-verb agreement. These include:
1. Using the wrong form of the verb for a singular or plural subject. For example, saying “the dog barks loudly” instead of “the dogs bark loudly.”
2. Using a singular verb for collective nouns. For example, saying “the team is playing well” instead of “the team are playing well.”
3. Using a plural verb for non-countable nouns. For example, saying “the water in the pool are cold” instead of “the water in the pool is cold.”
4. Using a singular verb with a compound subject that includes “and.” For example, saying “John and Sarah is going to the park” instead of “John and Sarah are going to the park.”
To identify these errors, you should carefully read through the content you are working on and pay close attention to the subject and verb in each sentence. If you notice an error, it is important to correct it promptly to ensure that the content is grammatically correct.
To correct errors with subject-verb agreement, you will need to change the verb to match the subject. For example, if the subject is plural, you will need to use a plural verb. If the subject is singular, you will need to use a singular verb. Additionally, if you come across a sentence with a compound subject, you will need to use a plural verb.
In conclusion, identifying and correcting errors with subject-verb agreement is a crucial aspect of copy editing. It ensures that the content is grammatically correct and easy to read. As a copy editor, it is important to pay close attention to subject-verb agreement to provide high-quality editing services.