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The error vector magnitude (EVM) is extensively applied as a measure of communication systems' performance. In this paper, the effects of gain, phase imbalance, and phase noise on EVM are examined. The work is focused on single-carrier, linear, and memoryless modulated signals, such as phase-shift keying and quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). The EVM is calculated under the assumption that the transmitted signal consists of zero-mean uncorrelated inphase and quadrature components that are corrupted by additive white Gaussian noise. The contributions of this paper are as follows. First, an expression for the EVM is derived using a simple model that accounts for linear transmitter and receiver imperfections, inspired by the works of Cavers and Liao, 1993. Second, a union bound on the symbol error rate (SER) is derived. The root mean square EVM is shown to be independent of the constellation shape. The SER, however, is sensitive to the individual transmitted symbols and, therefore, the constellation shape. The resulting equations are used to examine the relation between EVM, sideband suppression, and phase noise.