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Chapter 15. Correctness > 3.3.2 Subject-Verb Agreement Problems

3.3.2 Subject-Verb Agreement Problems

Subjects and verbs must agree in number and person. However, intervening elements in a sentence often distract readers from identifying the subject (who or what the sentence is about) and its verb (the action of the subject). The writer of sentence #2 in the Exercise probably was confused by the plural noun “steps,” and thus selected a plural verb.

In order to avoid this error, simply identify the subject, decide whether it is singular (I, you, he, she or it) or plural (we, you, or they), ignore any intervening nouns, and select the corresponding singular or plural verb.


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