Subject-object agreement is a grammatical concept that refers to the proper alignment of a subject and object in a sentence. The subject is the noun or pronoun that performs the action in the sentence. The object, on the other hand, is the noun or pronoun that receives the action in the sentence.
In English, subject-object agreement is important because it helps in making sentences clear and easy to understand. When the subject and object are not in agreement, the sentence becomes awkward and difficult to comprehend.
One of the most common examples of subject-object agreement is in sentences that contain a singular subject and a plural object. Consider the following example: “The boy and his friends play soccer.” In this sentence, “boy” is the subject, and “friends” is the object. Since “friends” is plural, it needs a plural verb, which in this case is “play.” The sentence is in agreement.
However, when the subject and object are not aligned, it can cause confusion. For instance, take the sentence “The boy and his friends plays soccer.” This sentence is incorrect because “plays” is the singular form of the verb, and it doesn`t agree with the plural object “friends.” The sentence should be amended to “The boy and his friends play soccer.”
Subject-object agreement also applies in sentences with compound subjects or objects. For example, in the sentence “John and Mary are going to the movies,” “John” and “Mary” are the compound subject, and “movies” is the object. Since the subject is plural, the verb should also be plural, and the sentence is correct.
Another example is in the sentence “I bought a new shirt and pants.” In this sentence, “shirt” and “pants” are the compound object, and since they are both singular, the verb “bought” is also singular to agree with the compound object.
In conclusion, subject-object agreement is an essential aspect of English grammar because it makes sentences clearer and easier to understand. Copy editors must pay close attention to subject-object agreement when editing text to improve readability and comprehension. Understanding this grammatical concept can help you write better sentences and communicate more effectively with your readers.