Subject-verb agreement can be a tricky concept to grasp, even for seasoned writers. When it comes to writing about proper nouns, the rules can become even more convoluted. Proper nouns are names used to identify a single, specific entity, such as a person, place, or organization. As a copy editor, it`s important to understand the rules of subject-verb agreement with proper nouns to ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct.

The basic rule of subject-verb agreement states that the subject and verb in a sentence must agree in number. If the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural. For example:

– Singular subject: The cat chases the mouse.

– Plural subject: The cats chase the mice.

However, when dealing with proper nouns, there are a few exceptions to this rule that you should be aware of.

1. Singular proper nouns that end in „s”

When dealing with singular proper nouns that end in „s,” such as „Charles” or „Thomas,” it can be tempting to add an „es” to the verb to make it sound more plural. However, this is incorrect. In this case, the singular verb form should be used. For example:

– Incorrect: Charles sings in the choir.

– Correct: Charles sings in the choir.

2. Plural proper nouns that don`t end in „s”

When dealing with plural proper nouns that don`t end in „s,” such as „children” or „women,” it can be easy to forget that they are plural. In this case, a plural verb form should be used. For example:

– Incorrect: The women walks to the store.

– Correct: The women walk to the store.

3. Titles

Titles can be a source of confusion when it comes to subject-verb agreement. When dealing with titles, the verb should agree with the actual subject of the sentence, rather than the title itself. For example:

– Incorrect: The president were at the meeting.

– Correct: The president was at the meeting.

By following these basic rules of subject-verb agreement when dealing with proper nouns, you can ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct. Remember to always double-check your work and consult a grammar guide or style manual if you`re unsure about anything. Your clients and readers will appreciate your attention to detail and the professionalism it brings to your work.

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