As a copy editor, it is important to understand the fundamentals of grammar, including the concept of agreement. Agreement, also known as concord, is the grammatical rule that determines how words in a sentence must match in terms of gender, number, and tense.
Gender agreement pertains to the matching of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives with the gender of the person or thing they refer to. In English, gender agreement is relatively simple as there are only two genders: masculine and feminine. For example, “he” is masculine, “she” is feminine, and “it” is neutral.
Number agreement involves matching the number of the subject and the verb, as well as the noun and the pronoun. In simple terms, if the subject is singular, the verb and pronoun must also be singular. Conversely, if the subject is plural, the verb and pronoun must also be plural. For example, “He walks” is correct, while “He walk” is incorrect.
Tense agreement is matching the tense of the verbs and the auxiliary verbs in a sentence. This includes making sure that the verbs are in the correct tense, such as past tense, present tense, or future tense. For example, “I will go to the park” uses the future tense, while “I went to the park” uses the past tense.
Overall, agreement in grammar is crucial for ensuring clarity and coherence in writing. As a copy editor, it is essential to ensure that all elements within a sentence are in agreement with one another, making it easier for the reader to comprehend the message being conveyed. By following the rules of gender, number, and tense agreement, writers can create sentences that are grammatically correct and easy to understand.