Basic Agreement Format

As a copy editor, you understand the importance of proper grammar and punctuation in creating clear and effective communication. One area where having a solid grasp of grammar comes in particularly handy is in understanding basic agreement format.

Basic agreement format refers to the rules governing subject-verb agreement in sentences. Simply put, the subject and the verb in a sentence must agree in number, meaning they must both be singular or both be plural. This might seem straightforward, but there are a few common pitfalls to watch out for.

First, remember that the subject and the verb must match in number even when there are intervening words or phrases. For example, in the sentence „The group of tourists is taking pictures,“ the subject is „group,“ which is singular, so the verb must also be singular („is“). Don`t be tempted to use the plural verb „are“ just because „tourists“ is plural – that word is not the subject of the sentence.

Another tricky area is when the subject is compound, meaning it consists of multiple nouns or pronouns connected by „and.“ In this case, the subject and the verb should be plural. For example, „The dogs and the cats are resting“ is correct because „dogs and cats“ is the compound subject, whereas „The dogs and the cat is resting“ would be incorrect.

When the subject and the verb are separated by a long phrase or clause, it can be easy to lose track of which is which. However, it`s important to make sure they still agree in number. For example, „The car, along with its passengers, is traveling to the beach“ is correct because „car“ is the subject and it is singular, while „passengers“ is a modifying phrase. „The car, along with its passengers, are traveling to the beach“ is incorrect.

Finally, when dealing with indefinite pronouns like „everyone“ or „nobody,“ it`s important to remember that they are always singular, so the verb should be singular as well. For example, „Everyone is welcome at the party“ is correct, while „Everyone are welcome at the party“ is not.

By keeping these basic agreement format rules in mind, you can ensure that your writing is clear, grammatically correct, and effective. As a professional, you understand the importance of attention to detail and precision in language, and mastering basic agreement format is an important step towards achieving those goals.