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Agreement in English Grammar

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Agreement in English Grammar: A Guide for Effective Writing

English is a complex and nuanced language, and one of the most critical aspects of effective writing in English is agreement. Agreement refers to the proper use of pronouns, subjects, and verbs in a sentence to ensure that they agree with each other in number and person. Making mistakes with agreement in English grammar is a common issue for many writers, but it can be easily rectified.

Here is a comprehensive guide on agreement in English grammar.

Subject-Verb Agreement

When constructing a sentence, it is vital to ensure that the subject and verb agree in terms of number. Singular subjects take singular verbs, while plural subjects take plural verbs. For example, “The cat is sleeping” is correct because “cat” is a singular subject, and “is” is a singular verb. On the other hand, “The cats are sleeping” is correct because “cats” is a plural subject, and “are” is a plural verb.

It is also essential to note that this rule applies to both simple and compound subjects. For example, “John and Alice are going to the store” is correct because the plural subject “John and Alice” takes the plural verb “are.”

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

When using pronouns, it is essential to ensure that they agree with their antecedents in terms of number and gender. An antecedent is the noun that the pronoun replaces. For example, “The boy is playing with his dog” is correct because “his” agrees with the singular masculine antecedent “boy.”

It is also important to note that when a writer is unsure of the gender of the antecedent, they should use gender-neutral pronouns such as “they” or “them” instead of “he” or “she.”

Verb Tense Agreement

Verb tense agreement refers to ensuring that the verb tense in a sentence correctly reflects the time of the action being described. For example, “I am eating breakfast” is correct because it is happening in the present, while “I will eat breakfast” is correct because it is happening in the future.

Maintaining a consistent verb tense throughout a sentence is equally important in ensuring that the sentence flows and is easy to understand.


In conclusion, agreement is critical in ensuring that your writing is clear, concise, and effective. By paying attention to subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and verb tense agreement, you can produce high-quality writing that is easy to read and understand. Remember to proofread your work carefully before submitting it to ensure that you have implemented agreement in English grammar effectively.