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What Are the Rules of the Agreement between Subject and Predicate

PinBlogger 12 months ago 0

As a copy editor, ensuring that the agreement between subject and predicate is correct is essential to producing high-quality writing. When it comes to grammar, the rules of agreement are particularly important as they dictate how words in a sentence must agree in terms of tense, number, and person. In this article, we will explore the rules of the agreement between subject and predicate and provide examples to help you better understand them.

Subject and Predicate Agreement

The subject of a sentence refers to the person, place, thing, or idea that the sentence is about. The predicate, on the other hand, is the part of the sentence that tells us what the subject is doing or what is happening to it.

To ensure proper agreement between the subject and predicate in a sentence, we must understand the following rules:

1. The subject and predicate must agree in terms of number.

The number refers to the difference between singular and plural. If the subject is singular, then the predicate must be singular too. Conversely, if the subject is plural, then the predicate must be plural too.

Example:

Singular subject: The cat sleeps.

Plural subject: The cats sleep.

2. The subject and predicate must agree in terms of person.

The person refers to the difference between the first, second, and third person. If the subject is in the first person (I or we), then the predicate must also be in the first person. If the subject is in the second person (you), then the predicate must also be in the second person. If the subject is in the third person (he, she, it, they), then the predicate must also be in the third person.

Example:

First person: I am eating breakfast.

Second person: You are eating breakfast.

Third person: He is eating breakfast.

3. The subject and predicate must agree in terms of tense.

The tense refers to the time frame in which the action or state is happening. If the subject is in the present tense, then the predicate must also be in the present tense. If the subject is in the past tense, then the predicate must also be in the past tense.

Example:

Present tense: The dog eats dog food.

Past tense: The dog ate dog food.

Exceptions to the Rules

There are exceptions to these rules, however. For example, when using the word “none,” we treat it as singular, even though it refers to multiple things. Another exception is using collective nouns, which are singular nouns but refer to a group of people or things, so they can be followed by a predicate in either singular or plural form.

Example:

None of the pie is gone.

The team is practicing.

Final Thoughts

Proper agreement between subject and predicate is critical to creating clear and concise writing that effectively communicates your message to your target audience. Remember to check your writing for proper agreement, paying close attention to number, person, and tense. By following these simple rules, you can improve your writing and produce clear and effective content.

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