Agreement Usage: A Guide to Writing Properly
As a copy editor, one of the most important things you need to do is ensure that the text you’re working on is grammatically correct and meets the standards of proper writing. One key aspect of this is agreement usage. Correct agreement usage is critical to writing that is clear and concise and will help your content rank well on search engines. Here is a guide to help you with agreement usage.
Subject-verb agreement is the agreement between the subject and the verb in a sentence. This means that the verb must agree in number with the subject. If the subject is singular, the verb must be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb must be plural.
For instance, consider the sentence “The car drives quickly.” The subject in this sentence is “car,” which is singular, so the verb “drives” is also singular.
On the other hand, in the sentence “The cars drive quickly,” the subject “cars” is plural, so the verb “drive” must also be plural.
Pronoun agreement is the agreement between the pronoun and the noun it represents. This means that if the noun is singular, the pronoun must be singular, and if the noun is plural, the pronoun must be plural. The gender of the pronoun should also match the gender of the noun.
For instance, let’s consider the sentence “The teacher graded her students’ papers.” In this sentence, “her” is the pronoun. It represents the teacher, which is singular and female.
In another example, “The students submitted their assignments.” Here, “their” is the pronoun, which represents the plural noun “students.”
Modifier agreement is the agreement between the modifier and the word it modifies. This means that if the word being modified is singular, the modifier must be singular, and if the word being modified is plural, the modifier must be plural.
For example, consider this sentence: “The red rose smells sweet.” Here, the modifier “red” describes the singular noun “rose”.
In contrast, “The red roses smell sweet” also has a modifier in “red.” But here, the plural noun “roses” is being modified, so the modifier is also plural.
Proper agreement usage is essential in producing high-quality content. It ensures that your writing is grammatically correct and communicates ideas clearly. Remember to pay close attention to subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, and modifier agreement to ensure that your writing is of the highest quality. By doing so, you can create content that engages readers, ranks highly on search engines, and stands out from the rest.