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Capstone Multilingual Writing Tips: Blog

February 2020: Subject–Verb Agreement

by Paul Lai on 2020-02-01T08:00:00-06:00 | 0 Comments


Many writers struggle with subject–verb agreement, especially in longer sentences where it may be difficult to identify the subject. Remember that the subject and the verb must agree in number, even if the subject is complex or contains extra information. When in doubt, break down the sentence to identify the subject. In the following examples, the subject is in italics, and the verb is in bold italics:

  • The committee members and the student write every day.
  • The lesson plans for Chapter 3 are available in the shared folder.
  • The focus of the interviews was nine purposively selected participants.
  • Each of the participants was willing to be recorded.
  • Following pressure from peers often leads to teenagers engaging in risky behavior.
  • The nurse who normally works with pediatric patients volunteers at the blood drive every year.
  • Strategies that the teacher uses to encourage classroom participation include using small groups and clarifying expectations.
  • Interviews are one way to collect data and allow researchers to gain an in-depth understanding of participants.

Check out the webpage on subject–verb agreement for more rules and examples.

Revision Tip: Look back through your most recent draft of your capstone document and check for subject–verb agreement in a couple of paragraphs. Highlighting or bolding the subject may help to better visualize the elements of the sentence. Make revisions as needed.

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