What Is Concord Verb Agreement

Concord verb agreement, also known as subject-verb agreement, is a grammatical rule that dictates the proper relationship between the subject and verb in a sentence. This rule states that the verb must agree with the subject in number and person.

Number refers to whether the subject is singular or plural, while person refers to whether the subject is in the first, second, or third person. In simpler terms, if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural.

For example, “The dog barks” is correct, while “The dog bark” is incorrect. Likewise, “The dogs bark” is correct, while “The dogs barks” is incorrect.

This concept may seem straightforward, but there are several common pitfalls that writers and editors should be aware of. These include:

– Compound subjects: When two or more subjects are connected by “and,” the verb should be plural. For example, “John and Sarah are going to the store.”

– Indefinite pronouns: Some indefinite pronouns, such as “everyone” and “everything,” are singular and require a singular verb. Others, such as “some” and “many,” are plural and require a plural verb. For example, “Everyone is happy” is correct, while “Everyone are happy” is incorrect.

– Collective nouns: Collective nouns refer to a group of people or things, but they can be either singular or plural depending on the context. For example, “The team is playing well” is correct, while “The team are playing well” is incorrect. However, “The team members are playing well” is correct.

– Passive voice: In passive voice sentences, the subject is not doing the action and may be followed by a singular or plural verb depending on the object. For example, “The cake was baked by Mary” is correct, while “The cake were baked by Mary” is incorrect.

– Distance between subject and verb: Sometimes, a long or complicated subject can create confusion about which verb form to use. In these cases, it is important to carefully match the verb to the subject and avoid distractions or interruptions in the sentence.

Concord verb agreement is essential to clear and effective writing, especially in formal and professional contexts. By paying close attention to the relationship between the subject and verb, writers and editors can ensure that their sentences are grammatically correct and convey their intended meaning.