Subject-verb agreement with relative clauses can be a tricky area of grammar to master. It is important to ensure that the verb used in a sentence agrees with the subject, especially when dealing with relative clauses.
Relative clauses provide additional information about a noun or a pronoun in a sentence. They are typically introduced by relative pronouns, such as „who,“ „whom,“ „whose,“ „which,“ and „that.“
When using a relative clause, it is important that the verb agrees with the subject of the sentence, not the relative pronoun. For example, consider the sentence „The dog that chases squirrels are fast.“ In this sentence, the subject is „dog,“ so the verb should be „is“ instead of „are.“ The correct sentence would be „The dog that chases squirrels is fast.“
Another example: „The children who sing in the choir love music.“ Here, „children“ is the subject, so the verb „love“ agrees with it. The sentence wouldn`t be correct if you wrote, „The children who sing in the choir loves music.“
It is also important to note that when the subject of the sentence is a collective noun, such as „team“ or „family,“ the verb should agree with whether the noun is acting as a singular or plural entity. For example, you could write, „The family that went on vacation is happy“ or „The family that went on vacation are happy.“ Both sentences are correct; it just depends on how you want to convey the meaning.
In addition to subject-verb agreement, it is important to choose the correct relative pronoun to use in a sentence. For example, „who“ is typically used to refer to people, while „which“ is used to refer to things. „That“ can be used for both, but some style guides prefer to only use „that“ for things and „who“ for people.
Correct usage of subject-verb agreement with relative clauses will make your writing clearer and more effective. It can take practice to master, but paying attention to the subject-verb relationship and choosing the correct relative pronoun will help you write with confidence.