Subject-verb agreement is a crucial aspect of grammar that helps us communicate our ideas effectively. When we write a sentence, we want to make sure that the subject and the verb agree in number, meaning that if the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb should also be plural. However, there are some cases where subject-verb agreement can become tricky, and one of those is when we use the word “besides” in a sentence.
“Besides” is a preposition that is commonly used to add information or to indicate an exception to something. It is often placed at the beginning or the end of the sentence, and it can affect the subject-verb agreement if not used correctly.
Here are some examples of how “besides” can affect subject-verb agreement:
1. Besides him, there (is/are) no one else who knows the answer.
Correct: Besides him, there is no one else who knows the answer.
In this sentence, the subject is “there,” which is singular, so the verb “is” should also be singular.
2. Besides the dogs, there (is/are) a cat in the house.
Correct: Besides the dogs, there is a cat in the house.
In this sentence, the subject is “a cat,” which is singular, so the verb “is” should also be singular.
3. Besides the books, there (is/are) a desk and a chair in the room.
Correct: Besides the books, there are a desk and a chair in the room.
In this sentence, the subject is “a desk and a chair,” which is plural, so the verb “are” should also be plural.
As we can see from these examples, when “besides” is used before the subject, it does not affect the subject-verb agreement. However, when “besides” is used after the subject, it can affect the subject-verb agreement. In this case, we need to look at the subject of the sentence and make sure that it agrees with the verb.
In conclusion, subject-verb agreement is an essential grammar rule that we need to follow to communicate our ideas effectively. When using “besides” in a sentence, we need to be careful about its placement and its effect on subject-verb agreement. By understanding the rules of subject-verb agreement and practicing through examples, we can improve our writing and avoid common errors.