Subject-verb agreement is one of the essential rules in the English language. In simple terms, this rule states that the verb must agree with its subject in terms of number. This means that if the subject is singular, the verb should be singular too, and if the subject is plural, the verb should be plural as well. However, when it comes to collective nouns, things get a little more complicated. Collective nouns refer to a group of people, animals, or things, and as such, they can be singular or plural depending on the context. Therefore, it is essential to understand the guidelines for subject-verb agreement with collective nouns. In this article, we will explore some exercises to help you master this concept.
Exercise 1: Identifying collective nouns
The first step in mastering subject-verb agreement with collective nouns is to identify them correctly. Below are ten sentences with collective nouns in them. Identify the collective noun in each sentence and determine if it is singular or plural.
1. The team is playing well.
2. The committee is meeting today.
3. The flock of birds is flying south for the winter.
4. The herd of cattle is grazing in the field.
5. The jury is deliberating in the courtroom.
6. The audience is listening attentively to the speaker.
7. The staff is working hard to meet the deadline.
8. The class is studying for their final exams.
9. The family is going on vacation.
10. The crowd is cheering for their favorite team.
Exercise 2: Choosing the correct verb form
Once you have identified the collective noun, the next step is to choose the correct verb form. Singular collective nouns take singular verbs, and plural collective nouns take plural verbs. Below are ten sentences with collective nouns, but the verb form is incorrect. Choose the correct form of the verb in each sentence.
1. The team are playing well.
2. The committee are meeting today.
3. The flock of birds are flying south for the winter.
4. The herd of cattle are grazing in the field.
5. The jury are deliberating in the courtroom.
6. The audience are listening attentively to the speaker.
7. The staff are working hard to meet the deadline.
8. The class are studying for their final exams.
9. The family are going on vacation.
10. The crowd are cheering for their favorite team.
Exercise 3: Subject-verb agreement in complex sentences
Finally, let`s look at some complex sentences that involve collective nouns. In complex sentences, subject-verb agreement can be tricky, so it`s essential to pay close attention to the subject and verb. Below are ten sentences with collective nouns used in complex sentences. Identify whether the collective noun is singular or plural and choose the correct form of the verb.
1. The committee that oversees the budget is meeting today.
2. The team that wins the game receives a trophy.
3. The flock of birds, which migrates every year, is flying south for the winter.
4. The herd of cattle that grazes in the field belongs to the farmer.
5. The jury that deliberates in the courtroom is composed of twelve people.
6. The audience that listens attentively to the speaker is often inspired.
7. The staff that works hard to meet the deadline deserves recognition.
8. The class that studies for their final exams is well prepared.
9. The family that goes on vacation together stays together.
10. The crowd that cheers for their favorite team is passionate.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement with collective nouns can be challenging, but with practice and a good understanding of the guidelines, you can master this concept. By identifying collective nouns, choosing the correct verb form, and paying attention to complex sentences, you can improve your writing and communicate effectively. Remember to always double-check your subject-verb agreement when proofreading your work.