If you read your essays aloud to yourself, you will catch most errors of subject-verb agreement. When nouns and verbs are near each other in a sentence, this mistake rarely occurs. But writers are sometimes distracted by their own elaboration. Consider the following examples of faulty subject-verb agreement:
Tom's all-consuming greed and desperate desire for independence leads him to murder Judge Driscoll.
The plural subject, greed and desire, demands the plural form of the verb, lead.
Tom's intentions, which the reader equates with selfishness, betrays him in the end.
The plural subject, intentions, demands the plural form of the verb, betray.
Several nouns in English form the plural unconventionally. Remember that the following nouns generally take plural verbs:
- curricula (also curriculums)
- libretti (also librettos)