Subject-verb agreement is one of the most important elements of grammar that every writer must adhere to. It is the rule that dictates that a verb should agree with its subject in number and person. Many people are often confused when it comes to the use of “has,” a singular form of the helping verb “have.” In this article, we will discuss the proper use of “has” and its subject-verb agreement.
The use of “has” is associated with singular subjects, that is, subjects that denote a single person, animal, or thing. For instance, when we use “has” in a sentence, we are talking about one singular action or thing that is happening in the sentence. For example, “The cat has caught a mouse.” The subject of this sentence is “cat,” a singular noun, and the predicate verb is “has” which agrees with the singular subject.
In contrast, when we use “have” in a sentence, we are talking about multiple actions or things that are happening in the sentence. For example, “The cats have caught a mouse.” The subject of this sentence is “cats,” a plural noun, and the predicate verb is “have” which agrees with the plural subject.
However, there are some instances where writers make mistakes in the use of “has” and its subject-verb agreement. One common mistake is confusing the singular with the plural form. For example, “The cats has caught a mouse” instead of “The cats have caught a mouse.” This mistake occurs because the writer fails to recognize the singular and plural forms of the verb, and erroneously applies the singular form to a plural subject.
Another mistake is when using collective nouns as subjects and failing to distinguish between them as singular or plural. Collective nouns refer to a group of people or things, but they can be used either as singular or plural, depending on the context. For example, “The committee has reached a decision” and “The committee have different opinions.” In the first sentence, the committee is treated as a singular entity and thus, the verb “has” is used to agree with it. In the second sentence, the committee is treated as a group of individuals with different opinions and thus, the verb “have” is used to agree with the plural subject.
In conclusion, proper subject-verb agreement is crucial in maintaining the coherence and clarity of a sentence. Writers should be careful in using “has” and its subject-verb agreement to ensure that they convey their ideas accurately and professionally. By keeping in mind the rules of subject-verb agreement, writers can avoid common mistakes and create high-quality content.