Writing tip: Sometimes a sentence that’s grammatically correct just sounds wrong.ear-grimace If so, recast it or start over.

For example, you’ll occasionally run into a sentence that seems off with its subject/verb agreement.

Original sentence: “Our development team, innovative technologies and integrated supply chain GIVE customers a competitive edge.”

GIVE is correct, because you have three separate subjects that collectively provide that competitive edge — the team, the technologies and the supply chain.

But it sounds wrong, doesn’t it? You are tempted to write GIVES, not GIVE.

The reason: GIVE, a plural verb, is adjacent to SUPPLY CHAIN, a singular subject.

But what happens if you just switch the order of the subjects?

Rewritten sentence: “Our development team, integrated supply chain and innovative technologies give customers a competitive edge.”

Now you don’t have the clang of that singular/plural pairing.

You can’t always find an easy answer, though. Say for whatever reason, the phrase had to be “innovative technology,” not “innovative technologies.” Then you probably want to scrap that construction and try something else.

Remember: If it sounds wrong to you, it will sound wrong to your readers as well. Spend a couple of minutes making it sound right, even if your 8th-grade English teacher would have said it passed a grammar check.