Agreement of Sign

Agreement of Sign: A Guide to Correct Usage

Agreement of sign is an important principle in grammar that refers to the matching of singular and plural subjects with their respective verbs or pronouns. A common mistake that writers make is to use a plural verb or pronoun with a singular subject or vice versa, which can lead to confusion and grammatical errors. In this article, we`ll explore the rules of agreement of sign and provide some tips for using it correctly.

Agreement of sign applies to both verbal and pronominal agreement. Verbal agreement refers to the matching of the verb with the subject (either singular or plural), while pronominal agreement refers to the matching of the pronoun with its antecedent (either singular or plural). Here are some examples of both types of agreement:

Verbal agreement:

– The cat **is** sleeping on the couch. (singular subject)

– The cats **are** sleeping on the couch. (plural subject)

Pronominal agreement:

– Mary bought a new car. **She** loves **it**. (singular antecedent)

– The girls bought new dresses. **They** love **them**. (plural antecedent)

To use agreement of sign correctly, you need to identify whether your subject is singular or plural, and then match your verb or pronoun to it accordingly. Some common rules to follow include:

1. Singular subjects take singular verbs and pronouns, while plural subjects take plural verbs and pronouns. This might seem obvious, but it`s important to remember that subject-verb agreement is the basis of sentence structure.

2. Indefinite pronouns (such as everyone, anybody, and nobody) are typically singular and should take a singular verb or pronoun. For example, “Everyone **needs** to be on time for the meeting.”

3. Compound subjects joined by “and” are plural and should take a plural verb. For example, “Tom and Jerry **are** going to the party together.”

4. Collective nouns (such as team, family, and government) can be singular or plural depending on context. If you`re referring to the group as a whole, use a singular verb or pronoun. If you`re referring to the individual members of the group, use a plural verb or pronoun. For example, “The team **is** playing well this season” vs. “The team **are** each responsible for their own performance.”

5. Inverted sentences (where the verb comes before the subject) can be tricky. Make sure you still match the verb to the correct subject, not the word that comes immediately after the verb. For example, “Only the dogs **were** barking” (plural subject) vs. “Only one dog **was** barking” (singular subject).

By following these rules of agreement of sign, you can ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct. Whether you`re writing a blog post, a report for work, or a novel, paying attention to subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement will help you communicate your ideas effectively. So the next time you`re editing your work, take a moment to check your agreement of sign – your readers (and your English teacher) will thank you!