Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental building block of the English language. It is the very basis upon which we can construct clear and concise sentences. Without proper subject-verb agreement, our sentences become a murky mess of poorly constructed ideas that are difficult to understand.
When it comes to university-level writing, subject-verb agreement exercises are essential to ensure that students are able to construct clear, concise, and grammatically correct sentences. These exercises challenge students to understand the grammatical structure of simple and complex sentences and apply that knowledge to their own writing.
One of the most effective ways to practice subject-verb agreement is through sentence completion exercises. These exercises provide students with a sentence fragment and ask them to complete it with the appropriate subject and verb. For example:
“Neither of the students _____________ interested in the lecture.”
This exercise highlights the need for students to identify the correct subject in a sentence, even when it is not immediately obvious.
Another useful exercise for practicing subject-verb agreement is to have students read complex sentences and identify the subject and verb. This exercise is especially useful for students who struggle with identifying the subject in a sentence. For example:
“Although the sky was gray and overcast, the children ____________ outside playing.”
By reading complex sentences and identifying the subject and verb, students will become more adept at constructing complex sentences themselves.
Finally, another effective exercise is to have students rewrite sentences that contain subject-verb agreement errors. For example:
“The group of friends was playing card games.”
This sentence contains a subject-verb agreement error, as “group” is singular and “were” should be used instead of “was”. The revised sentence should read:
“The group of friends were playing card games.”
By asking students to identify and correct subject-verb agreement errors, they will become more aware of grammatical structures and will be better equipped to write strong, clear sentences.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement exercises are essential for university-level writing. They not only help students understand the grammatical structure of sentences but also allow them to apply that knowledge to their own writing. By practicing subject-verb agreement exercises, students will become more adept at constructing clear, concise, and grammatically correct sentences, which will ultimately lead to better writing and academic success.