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As a copy editor, ensuring the correct agreement in writing is crucial to maintain clarity and professionalism. Agreement refers to the correspondence between the subject and the verb in a sentence. It is essential to make corrections in agreement to make sentences grammatically correct and understandable. Here are some tips on how to make corrections in agreement:
1. Understand the basic rules of subject-verb agreement
The first step in making corrections in agreement is to understand the basic rules of subject-verb agreement. In a sentence, the subject must agree with the verb in number and person. For example, in the sentence “She runs every morning,” “she” is the subject and “runs” is the verb. Both the subject and the verb are singular and in the third person, agreeing with each other.
2. Identify the subject
Before making corrections in agreement, identify the subject of the sentence. The subject can be a noun, pronoun, or even a phrase or clause that functions as a noun. Once you have identified the subject, determine whether it is singular or plural.
3. Check the verb
After identifying the subject, check the verb that accompanies it. Make sure that the verb agrees in number and person with the subject. For instance, if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb must be plural as well.
4. Watch out for tricky subjects
There are certain subjects that can be misleading and result in incorrect agreement. For example, collective nouns like “team,” “family,” and “company” are technically singular but can refer to a group of people. In these cases, the verb must agree with the context of the sentence.
5. Be consistent in tense and voice
In addition to subject-verb agreement, it is important to maintain consistency in tense and voice throughout the sentence and the entire document. For example, if the sentence is in the past tense, the verb must be in the past tense as well. Similarly, if the voice is active, the verb must be active as well.
Making corrections in agreement may seem daunting at first, but with practice and attention to detail, it can become second nature. By following these tips, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and conveys your message clearly and effectively. Remember to proofread your work carefully to catch any errors that may have slipped through the cracks.