Manual agreement is an essential aspect of grammar that you must know as a copy editor and writer. It involves matching the subject of a sentence with its respective verb. If the subject is in the singular form, the verb must also be in singular form, and vice versa.
Manual agreement plays a critical role in ensuring that your writing is grammatically correct and clear to your readers. Here are some tips to help you master manual agreement effectively:
1. Identify the subject
The subject is typically the noun or pronoun that comes before the verb in a sentence. To ensure manual agreement, you must identify the subject first before choosing the verb.
For instance, in the sentence, “The dog barks at the mailman,” the subject is “dog,” while the verb is “barks.” Therefore, “barks” is in agreement with “dog” since “dog” is in singular form.
2. Consider the number and person of the subject
The number and person of the subject affect the agreement of the verb in a sentence. If the subject is in the plural form, the verb must also be in plural form. In addition, if the subject is in the first person or second person, the verb must match it.
For instance, in the sentence, “We are going to the beach,” the subject is “we,” which is in the first person plural. Therefore, the verb “are” is in agreement with the subject “we.”
3. Check for subject-verb agreement errors
One common mistake that writers and copy editors make is using a singular subject with a plural verb or vice versa. This error can lead to confusion and affect the clarity of your writing.
For example, in the sentence, “The group of students is excited to go on their field trip,” the subject “group” is singular, but the verb “are” is plural. Instead, it should be “The group of students is excited to go on its field trip.”
In conclusion, manual agreement is essential for clear and grammatically correct writing. As a copy editor, it is your responsibility to ensure that your writing is free from subject-verb agreement errors. By following the tips above, you can master manual agreement and produce high-quality writing that engages and informs your readers.