Subject-verb agreement can be a challenging aspect of writing, especially when using certain words like “like.” The word “like” is commonly used in conversational language to compare or show similarity, but its usage in written language can be confusing.
When using “like” as a preposition, it should be followed by a noun or pronoun that agrees in number with the verb. For example, “The team, like its coach, is determined to win the championship.” In this sentence, “team” agrees with the singular verb “is,” while “coach” is just a prepositional phrase.
However, when “like” is used as a conjunction, it can create subject-verb agreement issues. For instance, “The team, like the players, are hoping to make it to the playoffs.” Here, “like” is serving as a conjunction, joining two nouns. The subject of the sentence is “team,” which is singular, but the verb “are” agrees with the plural noun “players.”
To fix the subject-verb disagreement, the sentence can be revised to “The team, just as the players do, hopes to make it to the playoffs.” In this revised version, “just as” serves as the conjunction, allowing the subject-verb agreement to be maintained.
Another common issue with “like” is when it is used to compare actions, not nouns. In such cases, the verbs should agree with their respective subjects. For example, “She sings like a bird, and her sister dances like a pro.” Here, “sings” agrees with “she,” while “dances” agrees with “her sister.”
It is worth noting that in informal language, there is a tendency to ignore subject-verb agreement with “like.” However, in formal writing, it is crucial to follow the rules of subject-verb agreement to create clear and effective communication.
In conclusion, when using “like” in written language, it is essential to pay attention to its function as a preposition or conjunction. Also, ensure that the noun or pronoun following “like” agrees in the number of the verb. By following these guidelines, you can avoid subject-verb agreement errors and effectively communicate your message.