As a professional, it is important to understand the subject-verb agreement rule that applies to a singular and a plural subject joined by or/nor.
The rule states that when a singular subject is joined by or/nor to a plural subject, the verb agrees with the subject closest to it. For example, in the sentence “Neither the cat nor the dogs like to chase mice,” the verb “like” agrees with “dogs” because it is the closest subject to it, even though “cat” is singular.
Similarly, when a plural subject is joined by or/nor to a singular subject, the verb agrees with the singular subject. For instance, in the sentence “Either the manager or the employees is responsible for the mistake,” the verb “is” agrees with “employees” because it is singular.
It is essential to adhere to the subject-verb agreement rule to ensure clarity and correctness in writing. Failure to follow this rule can result in confusion and ambiguity in the message being conveyed, which could ultimately affect the credibility of the writer and their work.
In conclusion, understanding and applying the subject-verb agreement rule when dealing with singular and plural subjects joined by or/nor is crucial for any copy editor. It ensures that the written content is grammatically correct and effectively communicates the intended message.