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Subject-verb agreement is a fundamental rule in grammar that dictates proper usage of verb tenses. It is vital to ensure that the subject and verb in a sentence agree in number to avoid grammatical errors. In this article, we will delve into the proper usage of “have” and “has” in subject-verb agreement.

“Have” and “has” are both helping verbs that indicate a present tense verb has already occurred. The main difference between the two is the subject they are used with. “Have” is commonly used with plural subjects, while “has” is used with singular subjects.

For instance, if we take the sentence “The dog has a bone,” the subject is singular, so we use “has.” In contrast, if the sentence is “The dogs have bones,” we use “have” to agree with the plural subject.

It`s not just about singular and plural subjects, however. Sometimes, the subject-verb agreement depends on the meaning of the sentence. For instance, in sentences that contain collective nouns, either “have” or “has” can be used based on the context.

For example, consider the sentence “The team has won the championship.” In this case, we use “has” to agree with the team as a single entity. However, if we say “The team members have won the championship,” we use “have” to agree with the plural noun “members.”

Another example is the sentence “My family has a lot of traditions.” Here, “has” is used to agree with the singular noun “family.” However, if we say “My parents have a lot of traditions,” we use “have” to match the plural noun “parents.”

It`s essential to note that subject-verb agreement may become tricky when using compound subjects. Compound subjects are formed by joining two or more subjects with a conjunction such as “and,” “or,” or “nor.” In such cases, the verb must agree with the subject closest to it.

For example, consider the sentence “The dog and the cat have chased the mouse.” Here, the subjects of the sentence are “dog and cat,” forming a compound subject. Since both subjects are plural, we use “have” to agree with them.

In contrast, if we take the sentence “Neither the dog nor the cat has chased the mouse,” we use “has” because “neither” makes the subject singular.

In conclusion, the proper use of “have” and “has” depends on the number and context of the subject. Remember to match the verb tense to the subject to avoid grammatical errors. By following these simple rules, you can improve your writing and enhance its readability.