Both Works for Me or Both Work for Me: Understanding the Correct Usage

Marcus Froland

Trying to sound right in English can feel like walking through a maze. Now and then, you bump into phrases that make you stop and think. “Both works for me” or “Both work for me”? Sounds simple, right? But this is where the English language throws a curveball.

The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might hope. It’s not just about what sounds good, but what’s grammatically correct too. And just when you think you’ve nailed it, there’s a twist waiting around the corner. So, which one will help you hit the mark without sounding off? Let’s find out together, but beware – the answer might surprise you.

When deciding between “Both works for me” and “Both work for me,” it’s important to understand the subject-verb agreement. The correct phrase is “Both work for me.” This is because “both” refers to two items or choices, making the subject plural. In English, when the subject is plural, the verb should also be in its plural form, which in this case, is “work” not “works.” So, when you’re talking about two options that are acceptable, always say “Both work for me.” This keeps your grammar correct while communicating clearly.

Introduction to Agreement in English Grammar

Understanding the intricacies of English grammar is crucial for effective communication. One fundamental aspect involves the subject-verb agreement, which ensures the correct conjugation of verbs based on the subject. In this section, we’ll delve into the subject-verb agreement and its application when using the term “both.”

“Both” is often accompanied by plural verbs for proper grammar usage. Consequently, this leads to the correct form of “Both work for me” rather than “Both works for me.” To develop a clear understanding, let us explore the essence of subject-verb agreement, plural pronouns, and verb conjugation in English grammar.

“Both” consistently teams with plural verbs in proper grammar usage.

Subject-verb agreement rules dictate that the verb must correspond in number with the subject. Essentially, a singular subject takes a singular verb, while a plural subject requires a plural verb.

  1. Plural Pronouns: These are pronouns that signify more than one entity, and they include “they,” “we,” and “both.”
  2. Verb Conjugation: Verb conjugation involves modifying a verb to accord with tense, aspect, mood, voice, or the subject.

Recognizing these basic concepts will provide the foundation for comprehending the intricacies of subject-verb agreement, especially when using the term “both.” As we progress through this article, you will learn more about how these rules apply, and by the end, you will have a firm understanding of why “Both work for me” is the correct form.

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The Grammatical Rule: Subject-Verb Agreement Explained

Subject-verb agreement plays a crucial role in our understanding of English grammar. It dictates that a verb must agree in number with the subject it modifies. In this case, we are examining the usage of the term “both” as the subject of a sentence and the verb forms that should follow it to maintain grammatical correctness.

To dive deeper into this topic, we first need to comprehend the concept of third-person plural verb forms and their role in subject-verb agreement. In English, a verb must agree with the subject in both number (singular or plural) and person (first, second, or third person). Consequently, the correct verb to use with “both” should also adhere to these rules and be in third-person plural form.

As an example, let’s consider the following constructions: “They work“, “We work“, and “People work“. These are all third-person plural constructions, and they showcase proper subject-verb agreement.

Now, when the subject “both” is used in a sentence, the verb that follows should also be in a third-person plural form. Revisiting our initial dilemma, the correct expression should be “Both work for me“. The sentence “Both works for me” is considered incorrect due to its lack of harmony between the plural subject and third-person singular verb usage.

  1. They (subject) + work (third-person plural verb)
  2. We (subject) + work (third-person plural verb)
  3. People (subject) + work (third-person plural verb)
  4. Incorrect usage: Both (subject) + works (third-person singular verb)
  5. Correct usage: Both (subject) + work (third-person plural verb)

To sum up, subject-verb agreement is an essential grammatical rule in the English language that ensures fluency and comprehension. In the context of using “both” in a sentence, it requires the usage of a third-person plural verb to align with grammatical standards. This understanding will help you communicate effectively and avoid mistakes in verb tense and form in your written and spoken English.

Unpacking ‘Both’: Singular or Plural?

When addressing the use of the word “both” in English grammar, it’s crucial to understand if it is categorized as singular or plural. “Both” is, in fact, a plural pronoun that typically refers to two items or individuals. Consequently, it mandates a third-person plural verb form, which is why “works” is not a suitable choice to follow “both.”

Remember, “both” is a plural pronoun and should only be combined with plural verbs.

Examples of Plural Pronouns in Action

To further elucidate the correct grammatical construction involving “both,” we provide several action examples:

  1. Both of the stores work for me to shop at.
  2. Her and her brother both work in the same company.
  3. Both Tom and Jerry are working on that project.
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As shown in the examples, “both” seamlessly pairs with plural verbs, enforcing the proper third-person plural verb usage. Incorrect pairings, such as “both works,” exemplify grammatical mistakes that should be avoided, especially in formal writing contexts.

Why ‘Works’ Doesn’t Work with ‘Both’

To understand why combining “both” and “works” is incorrect verb usage, one must examine their individual grammar attributes. “Both” is a plural pronoun, while “works” signifies the third-person singular form of the verb “to work.” Therefore, the correct pairing should be “both work”:

  • Incorrect: Both the proposals works for me.
  • Correct: Both the proposals work for me.

By following the formal writing rules and asserting our understanding of grammar construction, we can prevent common mistakes that may hinder our communication efforts.

‘Both Work for Me’ – Breakdown of the Correct Form

Understanding the correct grammatical form, verb agreement, and proper expression is imperative to using the English language effectively. In the case of “Both work for me,” aligning with these grammatical standards is essential to clear and precise communication. In this section, we’ll delve into the reasons why “Both work for me” is grammatically accurate and provide examples of its correct usage.

Both is a plural pronoun, which means it requires the third-person plural verb form. In this case, the verb is work without the “s” suffix, signifying it as a third-person plural verb. Combining “both” with “work” results in the grammatically correct form “Both work for me,” as opposed to the incorrect variant “Both works for me.” Let’s look at a couple of examples to further understand the proper use of “Both work for me.”:

  1. Clearly, both work for me.
  2. Both work for me. Let me know which one you decide on.

In both examples, the expression “Both work for me” showcases the correct use of grammar by adhering to subject-verb agreement. Remember, using the right grammatical form, verb agreement, and proper expression ensures your message is well-received and reflects a strong command of the English language.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

When it comes to perfecting subject-verb agreement in sentences, understanding the correct verb form usage is essential. In this section, we’ll focus on common mistakes that occur with “both work for me” and “both works for me,” emphasizing the significance of using the right verb form when “both” is involved. Being mindful of these grammar tips can help you avoid slip-ups in your writing.

Both work for me is correct as it adheres to the established grammatical rule of subject-verb agreement. It employs the third-person plural verb form, which is the appropriate choice when dealing with “both.”

Correct usage: “At the meeting, we’ll discuss both proposals, as they both work for me.”

Conversely, the use of both works for me is incorrect because it features the third-person singular verb “works,” which does not align with the plural nature of “both.”

Incorrect usage: “At the meeting, we’ll discuss both proposals, as they both works for me.”

To avoid these common mistakes, keep the following pointers in mind:

  1. Always use a third-person plural verb form, without the “s” suffix, when dealing with “both.”
  2. Consider the context and structure of other words in your sentence for guidance on the proper verb form.
  3. When unsure, consult grammar guides and resources to ensure accuracy in your writing.
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While colloquial language sometimes allows for more flexibility, adhering to the correct verb form usage and subject-verb agreement is essential for formal writing. By incorporating these grammar tips and developing a strong understanding of the proper verb form to use with “both,” you can enhance the precision and clarity of your writing.

Conclusion: Mastering Subject-Verb Agreement

By now, you should have a clear understanding of the grammatically correct form when using “both” in a sentence. Remember, the accurate usage is “Both work for me,” even in cases with an intervening noun, while formally ruling out “both works for me.” Through consistent practice and attention to this rule, you can significantly enhance your English language proficiency.

Mastering subject-verb agreement is an essential skill in achieving grammatical correctness and a high level of expertise in English grammar. The purpose of this text is to reinforce proper verb form usage when using “both,” ensuring your writing adheres to the highest standards of excellence in English language communication. Apply these principles in your everyday usage, and you will see substantial improvement in your writing and communication abilities.

In conclusion, take the lessons learned in this article to heart, and continue to practice using the correct form of subject-verb agreement when working with “both.” As your understanding of the English language deepens, your proficiency in grammar and overall language skills will only strengthen. Keep learning, improving, and perfecting your linguistic prowess.

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