Subject Verb Agreement Owl Purdue

Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental concept in the English language. It refers to the grammatical rule that dictates how the subject and verb in a sentence should correspond in number and person. When there is subject verb agreement, the sentence sounds grammatically correct, and the intended message is conveyed clearly.

One of the most reliable resources for writers is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). The OWL is a popular writing resource that provides comprehensive writing tips and strategies for students and writers alike. This article will explain the basics of subject-verb agreement and how the OWL can help writers perfect their writing skills.

The Basics of Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-verb agreement is the grammatical rule that governs how the subject and verb in a sentence should match. In simple terms, the subject of the sentence should agree with the verb in terms of number and person. When the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular, and when the subject is plural, the verb should also be plural. For example:

– The cat jumps on the table. (singular subject and verb)

– The cats jump on the table. (plural subject and verb)

To make the subject verb agreement more complex, there are some tricky cases such as collective nouns, indefinite pronouns, and compound subjects. A collective noun refers to a group of people or things, but it is treated as a singular noun. For instance:

– The team is playing well.

When using indefinite pronouns such as anyone, everyone, someone, no one, and everybody, the verb should agree with the pronoun`s singular or plural nature. For example:

– Everyone knows their responsibilities.

When forming a compound subject, the verb should be plural:

– Dogs and cats are pets.

How the OWL Can Help

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is an excellent resource for writers seeking to improve their writing skills. The OWL offers many writing resources, including a comprehensive guide on subject-verb agreement. The guide provides clear explanations of the rules governing subject-verb agreement, and it also provides examples to help the reader understand the concept better.

The OWL also offers a self-teaching exercise that enables writers to put their understanding of subject-verb agreement to the test. The exercise involves a series of multiple-choice questions that require the writer to identify the correct verb form for a given subject.


Subject-verb agreement is a critical concept when it comes to writing grammatically correct sentences. By understanding the rules governing subject-verb agreement, writers can ensure that their writing is clear, concise, and effective. The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is an excellent resource for writers to learn about subject-verb agreement and perfect their writing skills. With the help of the OWL, writers can improve their writing and create compelling content that engages the reader.