Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental rule in English grammar that states that the subject and verb in a sentence must agree in number. This means that if the subject of a sentence is singular, the verb that follows must also be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb must be plural as well. In this article, we will be discussing subject-verb agreement rule 5 and providing examples to help you understand the concept better.
Subject-Verb Agreement Rule 5
Subject-verb agreement rule 5 states that when a gerund (a verb used as a noun) is the subject of a sentence, the verb that follows must always be singular.
1. Swimming is my favorite sport.
2. Jogging in the park is a great way to get exercise.
3. Reading books is one of my favorite hobbies.
In each of these examples, the subject of the sentence is a gerund (swimming, jogging, and reading) and the verb that follows is singular (is). This is because the gerund is being used as a singular noun in the sentence.
Exceptions to Rule 5
There are a few exceptions to rule 5 when a gerund is used as the subject of a sentence. If the gerund functions as part of a plural subject, the verb that follows must be plural.
1. Running and cycling are both excellent forms of exercise.
2. Singing and dancing are two of her favorite hobbies.
In these examples, the gerunds (running, cycling, singing, and dancing) are part of a plural subject (running and cycling, singing and dancing) and therefore the verb that follows must be plural (are).
Another exception to rule 5 is when the gerund is preceded by the word „the”. In this case, the verb that follows can either be singular or plural depending on the context of the sentence.
1. The singing of the birds outside my window is soothing.
2. The singing of the choir were beautiful.
In the first example, the verb that follows is singular (is) because the subject (singing) is singular. In the second example, the verb that follows is plural (were) because the subject (singing) is part of a plural subject (the singing of the choir).
Subject-verb agreement rule 5 can sometimes be confusing, especially when dealing with gerunds used as the subject of a sentence. However, by understanding the basic concept and exceptions to the rule, you can easily apply it to your writing. Always remember that the verb that follows a gerund used as the subject of a sentence must be singular, unless the gerund is part of a plural subject or is preceded by the word „the”. With these guidelines in mind, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and professional.
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