Agreement in English: Examples and Tips for Clear Communication

Agreement in English refers to the grammatical rules that ensure that the subject and verb in a sentence match in number and person. This may sound simple, but it can be a tricky aspect of English grammar for non-native speakers and even native speakers. Correct agreement creates clarity in communication and helps convey your message effectively. In this article, we will explore some examples of agreement in English, along with tips for mastering this important grammar rule.

Subject-verb agreement

One of the most important rules of agreement in English is making sure that the subject and verb in a sentence match. For example:

– The cat sits on the mat.

– The dogs chase the ball.

In the first example, `cat` is a singular subject, and `sits` is the matching singular verb. In the second example, `dogs` is a plural subject, and `chase` is the matching plural verb. This kind of agreement is straightforward when the subject and verb are in the same order in the sentence.

However, sometimes with more complex sentences, it can be challenging to identify the subject and verb. For instance:

– The group of students, along with their teacher, is going on a field trip.

In this sentence, `group` is the subject, and `is going` is the matching singular verb, even though `students` and `teacher` are also mentioned. The key is to identify the subject correctly.

Singular and plural nouns

Another aspect of agreement in English is knowing when to use singular and plural nouns. For example:

– This book is interesting.

– These books are interesting.

In the first example, `book` is a singular noun, so `is` is the matching singular verb. In the second example, `books` is a plural noun, so `are` is the matching plural verb.

However, some nouns can be tricky, such as `news` or `information.` In these cases, they are always used as singular nouns, even though they may refer to multiple things. For instance:

– The news is not good today.

– The information was helpful.

Gender agreement

Gender agreement is also a crucial aspect of agreement in English. It involves matching the subject and verb to their correct gender. For example:

– She is a doctor.

– He is a teacher.

In the first example, `she` is the female subject, and `is` is the matching singular verb. In the second example, `he` is the male subject, and `is` is the matching singular verb. This kind of agreement can be especially important when discussing gender-related issues.

Collective nouns

Collective nouns, such as `team,` `family,` or `staff,` refer to a group of people or things and can be singular or plural, depending on the context. For example:

– The team is practicing for the playoffs.

– The family are all going on vacation.

In the first example, `team` is a singular noun, so `is practicing` is the matching singular verb. In the second example, `family` refers to more than one person, so `are going` is the matching plural verb.

Tips for mastering agreement in English

To become proficient in agreement in English, here are some tips to keep in mind:

– Study the rules of agreement in English and practice applying them in your writing and speaking.

– Pay attention to the subject and verb in your sentences and make sure they match in number and person.

– Be aware of tricky nouns, such as collective nouns or nouns that are always singular or plural.

– Proofread your writing for errors in agreement in English before submitting it.

– Get feedback from a native speaker or a language tutor to help you improve your agreement in English.

In conclusion, agreement in English is an essential aspect of English grammar that helps convey your message clearly. By studying the rules, practicing regularly, and paying attention to the subject and verb in your sentences, you can master this important grammar rule and become a more effective communicator in English.

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