Subject-verb agreement in long sentences can be a tricky thing to master, even for experienced writers. It`s important to ensure that the subject and verb of a sentence agree in number (singular or plural) and in person (first, second, or third).
The most common mistake in subject-verb agreement occurs when the subject and verb are separated by a long phrase or clause. For example, in the sentence “The group of students who are going on the field trip next week to the museum is excited,” the subject is “group,” which is singular, but the verb “are” is plural, referring to “students.”
To avoid such errors, it`s important to read the sentence carefully and identify the subject and verb before adding any modifiers or extra information. In the example above, the sentence could be rephrased as “The students in the group that`s going on the field trip next week to the museum are excited,” with the subject and verb in agreement.
Another common mistake occurs when using compound subjects, which are two or more subjects joined by “and.” In this case, the subject is plural and the verb must also be plural. For example, “The cat and dog sleeps on the couch” is incorrect, as the plural subject requires a plural verb. The correct sentence would be “The cat and dog sleep on the couch.”
When dealing with complex sentences or sentences with multiple clauses, it`s important to pay attention to the subject and verb in each clause. For example, in the sentence “Although the book was long, the students who read it found it interesting,” the subject of the first clause is “book,” which is singular, and the verb is “was.” The subject of the second clause is “students,” which is plural, and the verb is “found.”
In summary, subject-verb agreement is essential in writing clear and effective sentences. When writing long sentences, it`s important to identify the subject and verb before adding any modifiers or extra information. Pay attention to compound subjects and multiple clauses to ensure that the subject and verb are in agreement. With practice and attention to detail, writers can master subject-verb agreement in long sentences.