Rule No.9 in Subject Verb Agreement

Subject-verb agreement is one of the most basic yet important grammatical rules that every writer should know. This rule ensures that the subject and the verb in a sentence agree in number, meaning that if the subject is singular, the verb should be singular too, and if the subject is plural, the verb should be plural too. While this rule sounds simple, it is easy to make mistakes that can affect the clarity of your writing and even hurt your SEO.

One common mistake that writers make in subject-verb agreement is breaking rule no.9: “collective nouns usually take a singular verb, except when the members of the group are thought of as individuals.”

Collective nouns refer to a collection of people, animals, or things that are perceived as a single entity, such as “team,” “family,” “government,” “audience,” “club,” and so on. According to rule no.9, these nouns should take a singular verb, as in “The team is playing well,” “My family is going on vacation,” “The government has announced new policies,” and so on.

However, there are cases when the members of the group are considered as individuals, and in this case, a plural verb is required. For example, “The team are wearing their own jerseys,” “My family are all different ages and sizes,” “The government are divided on this issue,” and so on.

Why is it important to follow rule no.9? First of all, using the wrong verb form can make your writing sound awkward and unprofessional. Secondly, SEO algorithms are sensitive to grammar and syntax, and using incorrect subject-verb agreement can negatively impact your website’s ranking. Google’s algorithm favors websites that have high-quality, error-free content that is easy for users to read and understand.

To avoid breaking rule no.9, it is crucial to pay attention to the context of the collective noun in your sentence and decide whether the group is acting as a single entity or as individuals. If you’re unsure, rewrite the sentence to clarify the meaning, or consult a trusted grammar resource to confirm the correct usage.

In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is a fundamental aspect of good writing and SEO. By following rule no.9 for collective nouns, you can ensure that your writing is clear, professional, and optimized for search engines. So, take the time to review this rule and apply it to your writing, and you’re sure to see the benefits in terms of improved readability, user engagement, and search engine performance.