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When to Use Agreement: Understanding Grammar and Writing

Agreement is an essential element in grammar and writing. It refers to the proper match between different parts of a sentence, such as subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and noun-adjective agreement. In Spanish, it is known as „concordancia.“

Using agreement correctly is crucial for effective communication, as it helps to convey the intended meaning with clarity and precision. So, when should you use agreement in your writing? Let`s explore some key scenarios.

Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-verb agreement is arguably the most fundamental aspect of agreement in grammar. In essence, it means that the subject and verb in a sentence must agree in number and person. For instance:

– The dog barks loudly. (Singular subject, singular verb)

– The dogs bark loudly. (Plural subject, plural verb)

Note that the tense of the verb also plays a role in subject-verb agreement. For example:

– She walks to school every day. (Present tense)

– She walked to school yesterday. (Past tense)

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

Pronoun-antecedent agreement is another critical type of agreement. It involves ensuring that the pronoun (e.g., he, she, they) agrees with its antecedent (the word or phrase that the pronoun refers to) in gender, number, and person. For example:

– John forgot his keys. (Masculine, singular antecedent, masculine, singular pronoun)

– Maria and her friends went to the movies. (Feminine, plural antecedent, feminine, plural pronoun)

Noun-Adjective Agreement

Noun-adjective agreement means that the adjective used to describe a noun must agree with it in gender and number. For example:

– El perro grande. (Masculine, singular noun, masculine, singular adjective)

– Las gatas gordas. (Feminine, plural noun, feminine, plural adjective)

In some cases, the adjective may need to agree with the noun`s gender and number even if they are not in the same sentence. For example:

– ¿Dónde están mis libros? Son verdes. (Where are my books? They are green.)

Here, the adjective „verdes“ agrees with the plural, feminine noun „libros,“ even though it is not part of the same sentence.


In conclusion, understanding and using agreement correctly is essential for effective communication in both spoken and written language. Whether it`s subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, or noun-adjective agreement, paying attention to agreement rules will help you convey your intended meaning with clarity and precision. Remember, as a writer, it`s your responsibility to ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and easy to understand.