Agreement Put in a Sentence: Tips for Clear and Concise Writing

As a copy editor, one of the key challenges I face is ensuring that every sentence in an article or document is clear and concise. One common issue that I come across is agreement between subject and verb – essentially, making sure that your sentence is grammatically correct.

Agreement between subject and verb means that the subject of your sentence matches the verb in number and person. In other words, if your subject is singular, your verb should be singular too; if your subject is plural, your verb should be plural.

Here are some tips for ensuring agreement in your writing:

1. Identify your subject and verb

Before you start writing your sentence, identify your subject and verb. This will help you to match them correctly. For example, in the sentence « The dog barks, » the subject is « dog » and the verb is « barks. »

2. Don`t be misled by intervening words

Intervening words, such as prepositional phrases, can make it difficult to identify your subject and verb. However, remember that these words do not affect the agreement between subject and verb. For example, in the sentence « The book on the table is mine, » the subject is « book » and the verb is « is, » even though there are intervening words (« on the table »).

3. Pay attention to compound subjects

When your sentence has a compound subject (i.e. two or more subjects), make sure that your verb matches both subjects in number and person. For example, in the sentence « Tom and Jerry run fast, » the compound subject is « Tom and Jerry » and the verb is « run. »

4. Be consistent in your writing

Consistency is key when it comes to agreement in your writing. This means that if you start your sentence with a singular subject, you should use a singular verb throughout the sentence, and vice versa.

5. Edit and proofread your work

Finally, always take the time to edit and proofread your work for agreement errors. This will help you to catch any mistakes and ensure that your writing is clear and concise.

In conclusion, agreement between subject and verb is a crucial element of clear and effective writing. By following these tips, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and easy to read. Happy writing!