Grammatical Agreement in Number

Grammatical agreement in number is an essential aspect of writing in English. It refers to the correct matching of subject-verb agreement and noun-pronoun agreement in a sentence. This agreement ensures that sentences are grammatically correct and easy to read.

Subject-verb agreement is the matching of the subject and the verb in a sentence. In English, the verb usually changes its form depending on the subject, specifically whether it is singular or plural. For instance, the verb “is” is used to refer to a singular subject, while “are” is used for a plural subject. The following examples demonstrate how to match subject-verb agreement:

– The cat is sleeping on the sofa.

– The cats are sleeping on the sofa.

In the first sentence, the subject “cat” is singular, and the verb “is” agrees with it. In the second sentence, the subject “cats” is plural, and the verb “are” agrees with it.

Noun-pronoun agreement involves the matching of a pronoun with its antecedent (the noun it replaces). The pronoun must agree with the antecedent in number, gender, and person. For instance, the pronoun “he” is used for male antecedents, while “she” is used for female antecedents. The following examples demonstrate how to match noun-pronoun agreement:

– John picked up his bag and left.

– Mary picked up her bag and left.

In the first sentence, the pronoun “his” agrees with the male antecedent “John,” while in the second sentence, the pronoun “her” agrees with the female antecedent “Mary.”

It is essential to note that some nouns are considered singular despite ending in “s,” such as news, mathematics, physics, and economics. In these cases, they take a singular verb form. For example:

– The news is not good today.

– Mathematics is not my strong suit.

In conclusion, grammatical agreement in number is crucial for writing accurately and effectively. It ensures that sentences are well-structured, easy to read, and grammatically correct. As a copy editor, it is essential to pay attention to grammatical agreement to produce high-quality and error-free content.