Subject-verb agreement is a vital aspect of written communication that ensures clarity and coherence. When constructing a sentence, it’s important to make certain that the subject and verb agree with each other. This means that if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular and if the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural.
In a cloze passage, the reader is presented with a text containing gaps that they must fill in with the correct word. Usually, the words that are missing are the verbs. To fill in these gaps correctly, the reader must understand the principles of subject-verb agreement.
For example, consider the following sentence: “The dog ___________ loudly at the mailman.” The correct verb to fill in the blank is “barked”, as “dog” is a singular subject and requires a singular verb. If the sentence were to read “The dogs ___________ loudly at the mailman,” the correct verb would then be “bark”, as “dogs” is plural and requires a plural verb.
Subject-verb agreement can become more complicated when dealing with compound subjects. A compound subject is when there are two or more subjects in a sentence connected by a conjunction like “and” or “or”. In these cases, the verb must agree with the subject that is closest to it. For example, consider the sentence “The cat and the dog ___________ sleeping in the sun.” The correct verb to fill in the blank is “are”, as “cat and dog” creates a compound subject that requires a plural verb.
Additionally, when dealing with subjects that are collective nouns, the verb must be used differently. Collective nouns refer to a group of people or things considered as a single entity. Examples of these include “team”, “audience”, “family”, and “committee”. When using a collective noun as a subject, the verb can be singular or plural depending on the context. For example, consider the sentence “The team ___________ working hard to win the championship.” In this case, the verb to fill in the blank is “is”, as the team is being treated as a singular entity. However, if the sentence were to read “The team ___________ celebrating their victory,” the verb to fill in the blank would be “are”, as the team is being treated as a collection of individuals.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of writing. When dealing with a cloze passage, it is important to understand the principles of subject-verb agreement to fill in the blanks accurately. With practice, these principles become more natural, and writing becomes more readable and comprehensible.