Subject and Verb Agreement Rules Grade 3: A Guide for Proper Grammar
As early as Grade 3, students are expected to have a good grasp of proper grammar usage, particularly in subject and verb agreement. This means that the subject of a sentence, whether singular or plural, should agree with the verb in number and form. Here are some rules that Grade 3 students should keep in mind.
Rule 1: Singular subjects take singular verbs.
Example: The dog barks at the mailman.
In this sentence, “dog” is a singular subject and “barks” is a singular verb. If the subject were plural, the verb would be “bark.”
Rule 2: Plural subjects take plural verbs.
Example: The dogs bark at the mailman.
In this sentence, “dogs” is a plural subject and “bark” is a plural verb. If the subject were singular, the verb would be “barks.”
Rule 3: When there are compound subjects joined by “and,” use a plural verb.
Example: The cat and the dog sleep on the couch.
In this sentence, “cat and dog” are two subjects joined by “and,” making them a compound subject. Therefore, the verb “sleep” should be plural.
Rule 4: When there are compound subjects joined by “or” or “nor,” use a verb that agrees with the closer subject.
Example: Neither the cat nor the dogs like to eat fish.
In this sentence, “cat” and “dogs” are two subjects joined by “nor,” but “dogs” is closer to the verb “like,” so it becomes the subject of the sentence. Therefore, the verb “like” should be plural.
Rule 5: When the subject is a collective noun, use a singular or plural verb depending on the context.
Example 1: The team works hard to win every game.
In this sentence, “team” is a collective noun that represents a group of individuals working together. The verb “works” is singular because the team is seen as a single unit.
Example 2: The team are all wearing their uniforms.
In this sentence, “team” refers to the individual members of the group, so it becomes plural. Therefore, the verb “are” should be plural.
Following these subject-verb agreement rules can greatly improve the clarity and correctness of Grade 3 students` writing. It is important to teach and reinforce these rules early on so that students can develop good grammar habits that will benefit them in their future academic and professional endeavors.