Subject-verb agreement is one of the fundamental principles of grammar that every writer must master. It is the agreement between the subject and verb in a sentence, which ensures that the sentence is grammatically correct and easy to understand. As such, it is essential to pay attention to subject-verb agreement, especially when discussing a percentage of something. Here`s what you need to know.

When a sentence involves a percentage, the subject-verb agreement becomes more complex. In general, use singular verbs for percentages of singular nouns and plural verbs for percentages of plural nouns. For example:

– A percentage of the population is overweight. (singular subject)

– A percentage of the students are failing their exams. (plural subject)

However, there are some exceptions to this rule, which require careful consideration. Here are some examples:

1. Collective Nouns

Collective nouns refer to a group of individuals or things that are considered as a single unit. These include words such as team, committee, audience, and staff. When using a percentage with collective nouns, use a singular verb if the emphasis is on the group as a whole. For example:

– A percentage of the team is injured. (emphasis on the team)

– A percentage of the committee agrees with the proposal. (emphasis on the committee)

However, use a plural verb if the emphasis is on the members of the group. For example:

– A percentage of the audience were standing up and cheering. (emphasis on the individuals)

– A percentage of the staff are unhappy with their working conditions. (emphasis on the individuals)

2. Compound Subjects

A compound subject is a subject that contains two or more nouns or pronouns joined by and. When using a percentage with compound subjects, use a plural verb. For example:

– A percentage of the employees and managers are attending the meeting. (compound subject)

3. Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns, such as someone, anyone, everyone, and nobody, are singular or plural depending on their context. When using a percentage with indefinite pronouns, use a singular verb for singular indefinite pronouns and a plural verb for plural indefinite pronouns. For example:

– A percentage of someone`s income goes to taxes. (singular indefinite pronoun)

– A percentage of everyone`s opinions are different. (plural indefinite pronoun)

In summary, subject-verb agreement is an essential component of grammar that should not be overlooked. When using a percentage in writing, it is crucial to consider the subject`s number and context to ensure that the sentence is grammatically correct and clear. Remember, the key is to use singular verbs for singular subjects and plural verbs for plural subjects, but be aware of the exceptions. By following these guidelines, you can improve your writing and communicate your ideas more effectively.