Control of Agreement English

Control of Agreement English: Understanding the Importance of Grammatical Agreement in Writing

In English grammar, agreement refers to the correspondence between the subject and the verb in a sentence. It is an essential aspect of writing that ensures clarity, coherence, and accuracy in communication. When agreement is not carefully controlled, it can lead to confusion, ambiguity, and errors in meaning. As a copy editor with SEO experience, it is important to understand the importance of proper agreement in English writing.

Subject-Verb Agreement

The most common form of agreement in English is subject-verb agreement. It occurs when the verb in a sentence agrees with the subject in terms of number and person. For example, in the sentence “The dog barks,” the singular subject “dog” is paired with the singular verb “barks.” In contrast, the sentence “The dogs bark” uses the plural verb “bark” to agree with the plural subject “dogs.”

One of the most common mistakes in subject-verb agreement is in sentences with compound subjects. A compound subject is when two or more subjects are joined with “and” or “or.” In this case, the verb must agree with the subject that is closest to it. For example, in the sentence “The cat and the dog chases the mice,” the verb “chases” should be changed to “chase” to agree with the plural subject “cat and dog.”

Another common mistake is in sentences with collective nouns. Collective nouns refer to a group of people or things, but they are treated as singular in grammar. For example, “The team is winning” uses the singular verb “is” because “team” is a collective noun. However, “The team are winning” would be incorrect.

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

Pronoun-antecedent agreement is another form of grammatical agreement that is important in English writing. It refers to the agreement between a pronoun and the noun it replaces, known as the antecedent. For example, in the sentence “Sarah loves her new book,” “her” is the pronoun that replaces the noun “Sarah.” The agreement in this sentence is correct because “her” agrees with the feminine singular antecedent “Sarah.”

The most common mistake in pronoun-antecedent agreement is in sentences with indefinite pronouns. Indefinite pronouns are pronouns that refer to an unspecified person, thing or amount. Examples of indefinite pronouns include “everyone,” “someone,” “anything,” and “nothing.” In these cases, it is important to use singular pronouns for singular antecedents and plural pronouns for plural antecedents. For example, “Everyone needs their own key” is incorrect because “everyone” is singular, while “their” is plural. Instead, it should be “Everyone needs his or her own key” to agree with the singular antecedent “Everyone.”

How Agreement Affects SEO

In addition to its importance in writing, agreement also plays a role in SEO. Search engines like Google use algorithms to assess the quality and relevance of content, and grammatical errors can negatively affect a website`s ranking. Google`s Quality Rater Guidelines state that content with errors in grammar and spelling should be rated as low quality. This means that websites with poor grammar and agreement are less likely to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs).


In conclusion, control of agreement English is essential in writing clear, coherent, and accurate content. As a copy editor with SEO experience, it is important to understand the different forms of agreement, such as subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement, and to identify and correct errors in these areas. Proper agreement is not only important for effective communication, but also for SEO purposes, as it can impact a website`s ranking in search engine results. By mastering control of agreement English, writers can elevate the quality of their content and enhance their online presence.