What Is Number Agreement in Grammar

Number agreement in grammar refers to the agreement between a subject and its verb. In other words, it refers to the rule that requires singular subjects to have singular verbs, while plural subjects require plural verbs. Number agreement is an essential aspect of grammar, as it ensures that sentences are clear and easy to understand.

To better understand number agreement in grammar, it is important to look at some examples. For instance, consider the following sentence: “The cat chases the mouse.” In this sentence, the subject (cat) is singular, and the verb (chases) is also singular. This is an example of correct number agreement.

On the other hand, if we change the subject to be plural, the verb should also be plural to maintain proper number agreement. For example, “The cats chase the mice” is correct, because both the subject (cats) and verb (chase) are plural.

It is important to note that number agreement is not only limited to subject-verb agreement, but also when dealing with other parts of speech. For example, nouns and pronouns must agree in number with their corresponding determiners, adjectives, and verbs. For instance, in the sentence “Both the boy and his sister are talented,” the pronoun “their” agrees in number with the plural subject “boy and his sister.”

In addition, number agreement can also be tricky when dealing with collective nouns, such as “team,” “group,” or “family.” In such cases, the verb can either agree with the noun as a collective, or with the individuals within the group. For instance, “The team is practicing” treats the team as a collective entity, while “The team are arguing amongst themselves” treats the members within the team as individuals.

In conclusion, number agreement in grammar is a crucial aspect that ensures clarity and precision in writing. It is important to always keep in mind the rule of using singular verbs with singular subjects, and plural verbs with plural subjects, as well as other parts of speech. By mastering number agreement, writers can avoid common mistakes and create grammatically correct and well-structured sentences.