Agreement of Identity: An Important Grammar Rule
In English grammar, the agreement of identity is a crucial rule that is often overlooked by novice writers. This rule dictates that the subject and verb in a sentence must always agree in number and person. This means that if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural.
For instance, consider the following example:
The dog jump over the fence.
Here, “the dog” is the subject, and “jump” is the verb. However, this sentence is incorrect as the subject and verb do not agree in number. The correct sentence should be:
The dog jumps over the fence.
In this sentence, “jumps” is written in singular form to agree with the subject, “the dog,” which is also singular.
Similarly, consider this example:
The employees are attending the meeting.
Here, “the employees” is the subject, and “are attending” is the verb. In this sentence, “are attending” is written in plural form to agree with the subject, “the employees,” which is also plural.
The agreement of identity is a fundamental rule in grammar that helps to ensure clarity and accuracy in written communication. It not only helps to avoid confusion but also makes the sentence grammatically correct.
Moreover, the agreement of identity also applies to other parts of the sentence, such as pronouns and adjectives. When using pronouns, it is essential to ensure that they agree with the noun they are referring to in terms of gender, number, and person. Similarly, adjectives must agree with the noun they modify in terms of number, gender, and case.
Incorrect: The boy ate their food.
Correct: The boy ate his food.
In this sentence, “their” is incorrect as it does not agree with the singular noun “the boy.” The correct pronoun should be “his” to agree with the singular noun.
In conclusion, the agreement of identity is a rule that plays a significant role in the accuracy and clarity of written communication. As a copy editor, it is crucial to ensure that all sentences adhere to this rule, as it helps to convey the intended message effectively. By using this rule correctly, writers can avoid grammatical errors that may detract from the quality of their writing.