As a copy editor, one of the fundamental rules of writing that you must adhere to is subject-verb agreement. If there is a mismatch between the subject and the verb, it can lead to confusion and compromise the clarity of your writing. This can be especially detrimental if you`re working on content for search engine optimization (SEO). That`s why it`s important to understand the rules for forming sentences with subject-verb agreement.

First, let`s review what subject-verb agreement is. In every sentence, there is a subject (the person, place, thing, or idea that the sentence is about) and a verb (the action or state of being that the subject is performing or experiencing). These two elements must agree in number, meaning that a singular subject requires a singular verb and a plural subject requires a plural verb.

For example, consider this sentence: „The cat curls up on the couch.” In this sentence, „the cat” is the singular subject, and „curls” is the singular verb that agrees with it. If we were to write „The cat curl up on the couch,” using the plural form of the verb, it would be incorrect.

Now, let`s look at some tips for forming sentences with subject-verb agreement:

1. Identify the subject: Before you start writing, make sure you know what the subject of your sentence is. Once you`ve identified the subject, you can choose the appropriate verb form to match it.

2. Watch out for tricky subjects: Sometimes, the subject of a sentence can be tricky to identify. For example, in a sentence like „The group of students is studying hard,” the subject is „group,” even though „students” is plural. Similarly, in a sentence like „Each of the apples is ripe,” the subject is „each,” which is a singular pronoun.

3. Be consistent: If you start a sentence with a singular subject, make sure you continue using singular verbs throughout the sentence. The same goes for plural subjects and verbs. Avoid switching between singular and plural forms, as it can be confusing for the reader.

4. Recognize subject-verb agreement errors: Be on the lookout for common subject-verb agreement errors, such as using a singular verb with a plural subject, using a plural verb with a singular subject, or using incorrect verb forms with collective nouns.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and free of subject-verb agreement errors. This is especially important for SEO content, as search engines value content that is well-written and easy to understand. So, the next time you`re editing your work, take a moment to check your subject-verb agreement and make any necessary adjustments.