As a copy editor, one of the most important rules you need to be familiar with is grammar rule agreement. This rule is all about ensuring that the different parts of your sentence match in number, gender and tense. This may seem a small matter, but it can make all the difference in how effectively you communicate your message, and how your copy is perceived by your audience.
Here are some of the key elements of grammar rule agreement you need to be aware of:
1. Subject-Verb Agreement
The subject and verb in your sentence must always agree in number. For example, if your subject refers to more than one person or thing, your verb should be plural. Conversely, if the subject is singular, then the verb should be singular as well. For instance, the sentence “The kids is playing in the park” is incorrect because “kids” refers to more than one person. The correct version of this sentence is “The kids are playing in the park.”
2. Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
If you use a pronoun to refer to a noun, then the two must agree in gender and number. For example, you cannot refer to a group of women as “he” or “him” because these pronouns are masculine. Instead, you would use “she” or “her”. Similarly, if you are referring to a singular noun, you would use a singular pronoun such as “it” or “they.”
3. Noun-Adjective Agreement
Another aspect of grammar rule agreement applies to the relationship between nouns and adjectives. Adjectives must agree in gender and number with the noun they are describing. For example, if you are describing a feminine noun such as “woman”, you would use the feminine adjective “beautiful” rather than the masculine “handsome”.
4. Tense Agreement
The tense of your sentence needs to be consistent, meaning that all of your verbs should be in the same tense. For example, if you are writing in the past tense, you would not switch to the present tense in the middle of the sentence. This can create confusion for the reader and detract from the clarity of your message.
By following these key elements of grammar rule agreement, you can ensure that your copy is clear, precise and effective in communicating your message. This is especially important when it comes to SEO, as search engines rely on well-written, error-free content to deliver the best results to their users. So, if you are looking to improve your copywriting skills, make sure to keep these rules in mind as you work to create compelling and effective content.