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Agreement of Sentence Parts

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Agreement is what it sounds like—matching. Specifically, agreement refers to the matching of number, person, and gender within a sentence. Subjects and verbs must match in number (singular or plural) and person (first, second, or third). Pronouns and their antecedents (the words to which they refer) must also match in gender (masculine, feminine, or neuter). The following reviews the person, number and gender:

First Person:

The Speakers:
I, we


• Singular- I am here
Plural- We are here
• Singular- I was here
Plural- We were here
• Singular- I begin
Plural- We begin

Second Person:

Those spoken to:


Singular- You are here ......Plural- You are here
Singular- You were here .....Plural- You were here

Third Person:

Those spoken about:
he, she, it, they


Singular- He(She) is here Plural- They are here
Singular- It is here Plural- They are here
Singular- He(She) was here Plural- They were here
Singular- It was here Plural- They were here


Nouns That Name Males
Pronouns Referring to Males: he, him

Nouns That Name Females
Pronouns Referring to Females: she, her

Nouns That Name Ideas, Places, Things, Qualities
Pronouns Referring to the Above List: it, they

Sentences that do not maintain agreement among all their elements sound clumsy; they can be ambiguous as well. Sentences in which all the parts do agree help make your point more clearly and logically. There are several situations that can cause difficulty with agreement.

A subject must agree with its verb in number.
A singular subject takes a singular verb. A plural subject takes a plural verb.

Sample Usage

1) The snacks are on the table.

2) They are leaving now.

3) She is on her way to her office.

4) It is kept under the table.

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