Subject-verb agreement is an essential aspect of English grammar. It refers to the proper agreement between the subject and the verb in a sentence. One common phrase that often causes confusion in subject-verb agreement rules is “a majority of.” Let`s explore this phrase and how it impacts grammatical accuracy.
The phrase “a majority of” refers to a large number of individuals or things. It is often followed by a plural noun, indicating that the subject is made up of multiple entities. However, it`s essential to note that “a majority of” is considered a collective noun and can, therefore, take either a singular or plural verb depending on the context of the sentence.
When “a majority of” is used as the subject of a sentence, it can lead to confusion in subject-verb agreement due to the plural form of the noun that follows. For example, consider the sentence, “A majority of the students have completed their assignments.” The plural form of the noun “students” may lead some to believe that the verb should also be plural. However, because “a majority of” is considered a collective noun, the verb should be singular, making the sentence correctly written as, “A majority of the students has completed their assignments.”
It`s important to note that the context of the sentence may impact the subject-verb agreement when using “a majority of.” For example, consider the sentence, “A majority of the voters agreed to the new proposal.” In this case, the noun following “a majority of” is singular, so the sentence requires a singular verb. It would be incorrect to say, “A majority of the voters agree to the new proposal,” because the subject-verb agreement is incorrect.
In cases where there is any confusion with subject-verb agreement, it`s best to read the sentence aloud and ensure that the verb agrees with the subject`s number. This can help identify any errors or inconsistencies in the phrasing and ensure that the sentence is grammatically accurate.
In summary, subject-verb agreement is essential in English grammar and requires a thorough understanding of collective nouns like “a majority of.” While the phrase is often followed by a plural noun, it`s crucial to consider the context of the sentence and ensure that the verb agrees with the subject`s number. By doing so, one can avoid common errors and produce grammatically correct sentences.