Subject Verb Agreement with Prepositional Phrase

Subject-verb agreement can be a tricky aspect of grammar, especially when prepositional phrases are involved. Prepositional phrases are groups of words that begin with a preposition (such as in, on, with, by, etc.) and end with a noun or pronoun. These phrases often function as adjectives or adverbs, providing information about location, time, or manner.

When it comes to subject-verb agreement, the verb must agree with the subject in number and person. This means that if the subject is singular, the verb must be singular; if the subject is plural, the verb must be plural. However, when a prepositional phrase comes between the subject and the verb, it can cause confusion.

For example, consider the sentence: The group of students is studying hard. The subject is “group,” which is singular, so the verb “is” also needs to be singular. The prepositional phrase “of students” provides additional information, but it does not change the subject-verb agreement.

On the other hand, consider this sentence: The book on the table need a bookmark. The subject is “book,” which is singular, but the prepositional phrase “on the table” can be confusing. It may seem like the subject is “book on the table,” which would make the verb “need” plural. However, the prepositional phrase is simply providing more information about the location of the book, and the subject is still singular.

To avoid confusion, it can be helpful to identify the subject of the sentence first, before considering any prepositional phrases. Once you have identified the subject, determine whether it is singular or plural, and then select the appropriate verb. If a prepositional phrase comes between the subject and the verb, do not let it change your subject-verb agreement.

In summary, subject-verb agreement with prepositional phrases can be challenging, but it is important to remember that the verb must agree with the subject in number and person. Pay attention to the subject of the sentence first, and do not let prepositional phrases confuse you. With practice, you can master subject-verb agreement and improve the clarity and effectiveness of your writing.


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