I have been marking some practice exams recently and I’ve been giving feedback to students about how to improve their writing. There are lots of things that I could say, but in this post I’m going to mention just one: CHECK YOUR SUBJECT – VERB AGREEMENT!

When your teacher reads mistakes like these ones in your essays:

Inflation have been rising recently, not least because of the increasing price of oil.

This essay focus on the relationship between interest rates and inflation.

then he or she will groan, and your mark will start to drop. Help yourself and when you have finished your work then check it carefully for mistakes. You should underline the SUBJECT of the sentence:

Inflation

and ask yourself: is this subject singular or plural? Then look at the verb:

have

and ask yourself if this is the correct form of the verb. The sentences above should be:

Inflation has been rising recently, not least because of the rise in oil prices.

This essay focuses on the relationship between interest rates and inflation.

 I know it’s not always so easy! That’s why you need to think about it, read about it and do some exercises on it. I’ve just seen an excellent powerpoint on the sore thumb of grammar (yes, subject-verb agreement!)  on the Guide to Grammar and Writing website. Following the powerpoint there are exercises you can do to improve your understanding of this part of grammar. Get rid of your sore thumb by looking at the powerpoint and doing the exercises here.

 

 

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