Agreement in English grammar refers to the correspondence between a subject and a verb in a sentence. It is important to understand this concept because the lack of agreement can result in confusion and incorrect sentence construction. In this article, we will take a closer look at the meaning of agreement in English grammar and how it works.
Simply put, agreement refers to the fact that the subject and verb in a sentence must match in number. This means that if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural. For example, in the sentence “He walks to school,” the subject “he” is singular, and the verb “walks” is also singular, thereby achieving agreement. In contrast, the sentence “They walk to school” features the plural subject “they” and the plural verb “walk,” achieving agreement as well.
Agreement also involves more than just subject-verb agreement. We also need to consider the agreement between pronouns and antecedents. Pronouns are words that replace nouns or other pronouns in a sentence. Antecedents, on the other hand, are the nouns or pronouns that pronouns replace. Pronouns must agree with their antecedents in number, gender, and person. For instance, in the sentence “She gave the book to him,” the pronoun “she” agrees with the feminine gender of the antecedent, and the pronoun “him” agrees with the masculine gender of the antecedent.
In addition to that, the agreement also applies to adjectives and nouns. Adjectives can be singular or plural depending on the noun they describe. For example, in the sentence “The red apple is ripe,” the singular noun “apple” agrees with the singular adjective “red.” In contrast, the plural noun “apples” needs the plural adjective “red” when used in a sentence. “The red apples are ripe.”
In conclusion, understanding the concept of agreement in English grammar is important for effective communication. It ensures that sentences are constructed correctly and makes it easier for readers to understand written material. As a copy editor, it is essential to focus on agreement when reviewing documents to ensure that the text is grammatically correct, clear, and consistent.