Linguistic Features of Agreement

Linguistic Features of Agreement: Understanding the Ins and Outs

Agreement is a linguistic feature that is often overlooked by many writers and editors. However, it is an essential aspect of language that helps ensure clarity and accuracy in communication. Agreement refers to the agreement of a word in a sentence with its subject or object in terms of number, gender, and person.

Number Agreement

Number agreement pertains to the relationship between the subject or object and the corresponding verb or noun. The basic rule is that singular subjects or objects take singular verbs, while plural subjects or objects take plural verbs. For example:

– The cat is sleeping. (singular subject)

– The cats are sleeping. (plural subject)

It is essential to note that when the subject and verb are separated by other words, it is easy to become confused about whether the verb should be singular or plural. In such cases, it is essential to identify the subject and maintain number agreement accordingly.

Gender Agreement

Gender agreement involves the relationship between the gender of the subject or object and the gender of the corresponding pronouns or adjectives. Gender agreement is most apparent in languages that use gender pronouns or articles. For example:

– She is a doctor. (feminine subject)

– He is a doctor. (masculine subject)

Person Agreement

Person agreement pertains to the relationship between the subject or object and the corresponding verb in terms of the person. There are three persons in English: first-person (the speaker), second-person (the listener), and third-person (those who are not part of the interaction). For example:

– I am going to the store. (first-person subject)

– You are going to the store. (second-person subject)

– He/she/they are going to the store. (third-person subject)

In summary, understanding the different linguistic features of agreement is essential for writers and editors to effectively communicate their message. Number, gender, and person agreement ensure that sentences are clear, concise, and easy to understand. By maintaining proper agreement, writers and editors can enhance the quality of their work and meet the requirements of search engine optimization (SEO).