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Subject Verb Agreement for Questions

As a copy editor, one of the most important aspects of writing is ensuring that all grammatical rules are followed to create clear and understandable content. One rule that often gets overlooked, particularly when it comes to questions, is subject verb agreement.

Subject verb agreement refers to the correspondence between the subject of a sentence and the verb that is used to describe the action being taken. For example, “The dog barks” is a correct use of subject verb agreement because the singular subject “dog” is matched with the singular verb “barks.” However, when it comes to questions, subject verb agreement can become a bit more tricky.

In general, when forming a question, the subject and verb are inverted. For example, instead of saying “You are going to the store,” you would say “Are you going to the store?” In this case, the subject “you” has been moved to the beginning of the sentence, and the verb “are” has been moved after the subject.

When it comes to subject verb agreement, the same rules apply to questions as they do to statements. That is, the verb must agree with the subject in terms of number and person. For example, if the subject of the question is singular, then the verb must be singular as well. Similarly, if the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural.

Consider the following examples:

– Is he going to the party? (Correct)

– Are he going to the party? (Incorrect)

– Are they coming over later? (Correct)

– Is they coming over later? (Incorrect)

In the first example, “he” is a singular subject, so the singular verb “is” is used. In the second example, the plural subject “they” is matched with the plural verb “are.”

It`s also important to keep in mind the person of the subject when it comes to subject verb agreement. For example, if the subject is in the third person singular (he, she, it), then the verb also needs to be in the third person singular form. If the subject is in the first or second person (I, you, we), then the verb must match accordingly.

Consider the following examples:

– Does she like ice cream? (Correct)

– Do she like ice cream? (Incorrect)

– Do we have any milk left? (Correct)

– Does we have any milk left? (Incorrect)

In the first example, “she” is a third person singular subject, so the singular verb “does” is used. In the second example, the first person plural subject “we” is matched with the plural verb “do.”

In conclusion, subject verb agreement is a crucial aspect of writing, including when it comes to forming questions. As a professional, it`s important to keep in mind these rules to ensure that your content is clear, concise, and grammatically correct. By keeping subject verb agreement in mind, you can help your readers better understand your message and convey your ideas with greater clarity.

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