Error in Agreement

Error in Agreement

As a copy editor, one of the most common mistakes I come across is the error in agreement. Agreement refers to the consistency of the grammatical elements in a sentence, namely subject-verb agreement, noun-pronoun agreement, and verb tense.

Subject-verb agreement is when the subject and verb of a sentence must agree in number and person. For example, «the dog barks» is correct because «dog» is singular, and «barks» is the singular form of the verb. However, «the dogs bark» is also correct, because «dogs» is plural, and «bark» is the plural form of the verb.

Noun-pronoun agreement is when a pronoun – such as he, she, it, or they – agrees in number and gender with its antecedent, or the word it replaces. For example, «Susan is going to the store, and she needs to buy milk» is correct because «Susan» is singular and feminine, and «she» is the appropriate singular, feminine pronoun.

Verb tense agreement is when the verb in a sentence matches the tense of the subject. For example, «I am running» is present tense, but «I ran» is past tense.

So why is agreement important? It ensures that your writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct. Mismatched agreement can cause confusion and make your writing difficult to understand. It can also indicate a lack of attention to detail and professionalism, which can harm your credibility as a writer.

To avoid errors in agreement, it`s important to pay close attention to the grammatical elements of your sentence and ensure that they match in number, gender, and tense. Here are some tips:

– Identify the subject of your sentence and make sure the verb agrees with it in number and person.

– Make sure pronouns agree with their antecedents in number and gender.

– Check the tense of your verb and ensure it matches the tense of the subject.

By following these tips and paying close attention to the agreement of your sentences, you can ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct. It`s a small yet important detail that can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your writing.