As a copy editor, one of the most important aspects of my job is ensuring that every sentence in an article reads correctly, and is optimized for search engines. This means that I have to pay particular attention to the agreement between subjects and verbs, especially when dealing with special subjects.
Special subjects are those nouns or pronouns that don`t follow the usual rules of agreement with verbs. There are three types of special subjects: collective nouns, singular nouns that end in „s”, and indefinite pronouns.
Collective nouns refer to groups of people or things, such as „team”, „family”, or „herd”. When using a collective noun as a subject, it is important to remember whether the group is acting as a single unit or as individuals. For example, „The team is practicing” indicates that the team is acting as a single unit, while „The team are arguing” implies that the members of the team are arguing with each other.
Singular nouns that end in „s” can also be tricky when it comes to agreement with verbs. For example, „Mathematics is my favorite subject” is correct, while „Mathematics are my favorite subjects” is incorrect. The same goes for other singular nouns ending in „s”, such as „physics”, „politics”, and „news”.
Indefinite pronouns, such as „anyone”, „everyone”, and „someone”, can also cause issues with subject-verb agreement. These pronouns are typically singular, so they should be paired with singular verbs. For example, „Everyone is excited for the party” is correct, while „Everyone are excited for the party” is not.
In addition to these special subjects, there are other situations that can also cause agreement issues. For example, when using compound subjects joined by „and”, the verb should be plural. For example, „Tom and Jerry are going to the store”. On the other hand, when using compound subjects joined by „or” or „nor”, the verb should agree with the closest subject. For example, „Neither Tom nor Jerry is going to the store”.
In conclusion, as a professional, it is vital to pay attention to subject-verb agreement when editing articles. Special subjects such as collective nouns, singular nouns that end in „s”, and indefinite pronouns can cause confusion if not paired with the correct verb. By following the proper rules of agreement, the article will not only read correctly, but will also be optimized for search engines.