Subject-verb agreement is a vital aspect of writing that requires proper attention. It is the agreement between the subject and the verb, which ensures that a sentence is grammatically correct. The basic rule of subject-verb agreement is that a singular subject needs a singular verb, and a plural subject requires a plural verb. In this article, we will discuss the rules and examples of subject-verb agreement.

Basic Rules of Subject-Verb Agreement

1. The verb must agree with the number of the subject.

2. Singular subjects require singular verbs, while plural subjects require plural verbs.

3. Collective nouns, which refer to a group of people or things, can be singular or plural depending on whether the group is considered as a single unit or multiple individuals.

4. Compound subjects joined by “and” usually require a plural verb.

5. Indefinite pronouns, such as “everyone” and “anyone,” are always singular and require a singular verb.

6. When a singular subject is connected by “or” or “nor” to another subject, the verb agrees with the subject closest to it.

Examples of Subject-Verb Agreement

Singular Subject and Verb

– The cat is sleeping.

– The car races down the street.

– The movie was entertaining.

– The news was shocking.

Plural Subject and Verb

– The dogs are barking.

– The cars make too much noise.

– The books on the shelf are old.

– The children play at the playground.

Collective Nouns

– The team is playing well. (treated as a single unit)

– The jury is about to reach a verdict. (treated as a single unit)

– The class are raising their hands. (treated as multiple individuals)

Compound Subjects

– Tom and Jerry are a famous duo.

– Yoga and meditation are great for relaxation.

– Coffee and tea can keep you awake.

Indefinite Pronouns

– Everyone is ready to go.

– Nobody knows the answer.

– Someone left their phone behind.

Subject-Verb Agreement with “Or” and “Nor”

– Either the dog or the cats are causing the mess.

– Neither Sarah nor her friends are going to the party.

– Either the cake or the ice cream is the dessert tonight.


In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is crucial to make a sentence grammatically correct and to convey the intended message effectively. The basic rule of agreement is that a singular subject requires a singular verb, and a plural subject requires a plural verb. By following the rules and examples of subject-verb agreement, you can enhance your writing skills and maintain consistency throughout your work.