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Intervening Phrase in Subject Verb Agreement

When it comes to writing, grammar and syntax can be tricky. One of the most common mistakes that writers make is the use of intervening phrases in subject-verb agreement. This issue can often go unnoticed, but it’s important to catch these errors to ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct.

An intervening phrase is a group of words that separates the subject from the verb in a sentence. This phrase can be composed of adjectives, adverbs, or prepositional phrases. For example, consider the following sentence: The book on the table, along with the pen and pencil, is mine. In this sentence, the intervening phrase is “on the table, along with the pen and pencil.” This phrase separates the subject “book” from the verb “is.”

The problem with intervening phrases is that they can confuse the subject-verb agreement in a sentence. The subject-verb agreement states that the verb in a sentence must agree with the subject in both number and person. This means that if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular. Similarly, if the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural.

When an intervening phrase comes between the subject and the verb, it can be difficult to determine if the subject is singular or plural. In some cases, the intervening phrase can mislead a writer into choosing the wrong verb form. This can result in awkward and confusing sentences that are difficult to read and understand.

To avoid subject-verb agreement errors with intervening phrases, it’s important to identify the subject of the sentence first. Once you have identified the subject, you can determine whether it is singular or plural, and then choose the appropriate verb form accordingly. If the intervening phrase is causing confusion, try removing it from the sentence to see if it still makes sense.

Let’s take a look at another example: The group of students, including John and Mary, are going on a field trip. In this sentence, the intervening phrase is “including John and Mary.” While the intervening phrase suggests that there are multiple students, the subject of the sentence is “group,” which is singular. Therefore, the correct verb form should be “is” instead of “are.”

In conclusion, intervening phrases can be a source of confusion in subject-verb agreement if not properly handled. As a professional, it’s important to always double-check for these types of errors to ensure clear and concise writing. Remember to identify the subject first, determine its number, and then choose the appropriate verb form. By doing so, you can avoid embarrassing mistakes and produce high-quality content.