As a copy editor, ensuring correct grammar and syntax is crucial for effective communication. One area that often poses difficulty is agreement in number, particularly when it comes to crafting a sentence with multiple subjects or objects. However, there is a simple rule to follow: ensure all nouns and pronouns in the sentence agree in number.
For instance, consider the sentence, “The dog and cat enjoys playing together.” Here, the subject “dog and cat” is plural, while the verb “enjoys” is singular. To correct this error, the verb should be pluralized to “enjoy,” resulting in the grammatically correct sentence, “The dog and cat enjoy playing together.”
Similarly, when using pronouns, it`s important to ensure they agree with their antecedent in number. For example, in the sentence “The students submitted their assignments on time, and he received high marks,” the pronoun “he” is singular, while the subject “students” is plural. To maintain consistency in number, the pronoun should be changed to “they,” resulting in the correct sentence, “The students submitted their assignments on time, and they received high marks.”
In short, to ensure agreement in number, always confirm that all nouns and pronouns in the sentence match in terms of singular or plural. By following this simple rule, you can ensure clear and effective communication in your writing.