Agreement Def Oxford: Understanding the Importance of Consistency in Language
In the world of writing, language consistency plays a crucial role in ensuring that the message conveyed is clear and understood by the audience. One of the tools used to achieve language consistency is agreement, which refers to the grammatical relationship between words in a sentence. The Oxford English Dictionary defines agreement as “the way in which the form of one word, usually the verb, changes to match the form of another word, usually a noun or pronoun, in the same sentence.”
Agreement is a fundamental aspect of English grammar that helps writers to convey their message effectively. Without a consistent use of agreement, a sentence may not make sense, and the audience may have difficulty understanding the message being conveyed. Some examples of agreement include subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and noun-adjective agreement.
Subject-verb agreement refers to the relationship between the subject and the verb in a sentence. For example, “She writes” is an example of subject-verb agreement, where “she” is the subject, and “writes” is the verb that agrees with the subject in terms of tense and number.
Pronoun-antecedent agreement refers to the relationship between a pronoun and its antecedent, which is the noun that the pronoun refers to. For example, “Mary went to the store, and she bought some milk” is an example of pronoun-antecedent agreement. “Mary” is the antecedent, and “she” is the pronoun that agrees with the antecedent in terms of gender and number.
Noun-adjective agreement refers to the relationship between a noun and the adjective that modifies it. For example, “The blue car is fast” is an example of noun-adjective agreement, where “blue” is the adjective that modifies the noun “car.”
Consistency in agreement is essential in maintaining coherence and clarity in writing. Inconsistent use of agreement can make a sentence sound awkward, confusing, and difficult to understand. For example, “The cat chases the mouse, but they were fast” is an example of inconsistent pronoun-antecedent agreement, where the pronoun “they” does not agree with any noun or antecedent in the sentence.
In conclusion, agreement is a crucial aspect of English grammar that plays a vital role in ensuring that language is consistent and easy to understand. As a writer, it is essential to pay close attention to the use of agreement to avoid inconsistencies that can make your message unclear. By understanding the importance of agreement and consistently applying it in your writing, you can ensure that your message is conveyed accurately and effectively to your audience.