Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Subject–Verb Agreement

This example of a subject–verb agreement error is from the online version of The Straits Times (11 April 2013).

The third-person singular present tense –s marker on the highlighted verb is wrong because NUS and NTU form a plural subject.

They cannot collectively be thought of as a single entity; otherwise they would not be occupying two different positions in the ranking.

A good test of this would be to replace NUS and NTU with an appropriate pronoun and see which works best – it should be obvious that the plural they rather than the singular it is needed here.

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