Subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of grammar that needs to be mastered by every student. It is a rule that governs the use of verbs in a sentence, ensuring that the subject and verb agree in terms of number and person. In simple terms, if the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb should be plural. Class 10 students often struggle with subject-verb agreement questions, and this article is aimed at providing a comprehensive guide to help students improve their understanding and performance in this area.
The importance of subject-verb agreement
Subject-verb agreement is critical because it ensures clarity and eliminates ambiguity in a sentence. It is essential for effective communication and helps the reader or listener understand the intended meaning. Using the wrong verb tense or form can result in confusion and mistranslation of the original message, leading to miscommunication.
Rules of subject-verb agreement
There are basic rules that govern subject-verb agreement, and it is essential to understand them to be able to apply them correctly. Below are some of the essential rules:
1. Singular subjects take singular verbs, while plural subjects take plural verbs.
Example: The student studies hard. (Singular subject, singular verb) The students study hard. (Plural subject, plural verb)
2. Compound subjects joined by "and" take plural verbs.
Example: Tom and Jerry are classmates. (Compound subject, plural verb)
3. Compound subjects joined by "or" or "nor" take a singular verb that agrees with the closest subject.
Example: Neither John nor his friends are coming. (Singular verb because "John" is the closest subject)
4. Indefinite pronouns such as anyone, everyone, somebody, nobody, etc., take singular verbs.
Example: Everybody wants to be successful. (Indefinite pronoun, singular verb)
5. Collective nouns such as team, family, group, etc., can take either singular or plural verbs, depending on the context.
Example: The team is playing well. (Singular verb) The team are wearing their new jerseys. (Plural verb)
6. When subjects are separated by prepositions, the verb agrees with the subject that comes before the preposition.
Example: The book on the table belongs to me. (Singular verb because "book" is the subject before the preposition)
Practice exercises for class 10 students
To help class 10 students improve their understanding of subject-verb agreement, we have provided some practice exercises below. These exercises cover different aspects of subject-verb agreement and will help students apply the rules correctly.
1. Identify the subject and verb in the following sentences and determine if they agree in terms of number.
a) The dog barks loudly.
b) The girls plays soccer every Saturday.
c) My family is planning a vacation.
d) The men walks to work every day.
e) Each of the students has their own locker.
2. Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the verb in parentheses.
a) The students ___________ (study) for their exams.
b) The cat ___________ (purr) contentedly on the bed.
c) The band ___________ (play) their instruments before the concert.
d) The committee ___________ (make) their decision yesterday.
e) The athlete ___________ (run) marathons every year.
Subject-verb agreement is one of the essential aspects of grammar that every student needs to master. By applying the rules correctly, students can ensure clarity and effective communication in their writing. The practice exercises provided in this article will help class 10 students improve their understanding and performance in subject-verb agreement questions.