As the world of digital content continues to evolve, so do the rules surrounding SEO and grammar. One particular area that has seen a shift in recent years is subject-verb agreement when it comes to mood and tense.
Traditionally, subject-verb agreement has been straightforward: singular subjects take singular verbs, plural subjects take plural verbs. However, when it comes to mood and tense, things can get a bit more complicated.
Mood refers to the speaker’s attitude toward a particular action or situation. The three primary moods in English are indicative (used for statements of fact), imperative (used for commands), and subjunctive (used for hypothetical or uncertain situations).
Tense, on the other hand, refers to when an action took place. There are three primary tenses in English: past, present, and future. Each of these tenses can be further subdivided into simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect progressive forms.
So, what’s the big shift when it comes to subject-verb agreement and mood/tense? It’s all about creating more natural, conversational content that resonates with readers.
In the past, many writers and editors would rigidly stick to traditional subject-verb agreement rules when it came to mood and tense. For example, if they were writing in the subjunctive mood, they would use a singular verb form (e.g. “If I were king, I would rule with fairness and justice”). However, this can come across as stilted and overly formal to modern readers.
Instead, many writers and editors are now opting for a more relaxed approach to subject-verb agreement in these situations. They may use plural verbs in subjunctive clauses (e.g. “If I were king, we would rule with fairness and justice”) or use progressive or perfect tense forms in the indicative mood (e.g. “I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue lately”).
Of course, this doesn’t mean that traditional subject-verb agreement rules should be thrown out the window entirely. There are still situations where strict adherence to these rules is necessary for clarity or cohesion. However, as we continue to see a shift towards more conversational, reader-friendly content, writers and editors must be willing to adapt and evolve their grammar practices to keep pace.