Language and Linguistics

Concord in English Grammar Nominal agreement rules


In English grammar, concord is another term for grammatical agreement between two words in a sentence. In fact, it is derived from Latin to “agree.” Concord is relatively limited in modern English. Subject-verb concord in terms of number is conventionally marked by inflections (or word endings). Concord Noun-pronoun requires an agreement between a pronoun and its antecedent in terms of number, person and gender. Concord in English Grammar

The word concord comes etymologically from the Latin “concors” with the meaning of concorde, which alludes to what is in harmony, according or in agreement, to which the suffix “ia” is added, which is used for abstract nouns.

Among the Roman gods, Concordia, equivalent to the Greek goddess Harmonia, symbolized agreement and a good marital relationship.

Concord is that relationship that is established in a peaceful, respectful and orderly way between inanimate beings and more generally, animated ones, especially between people; and also those means that are used to achieve said harmony, such as agreements or treaties.

Examples: “Among the students, harmony has been broken after the unfair measure of the teacher that only benefited some and unleashed the anger of the rest”, “Concord must reign between sister nations”, “A pact was made between the two enemy factions to try to achieve some harmony. Concord in English Grammar

Agreement and Concord

  • “These innocent terms have led to considerable confusion. For many linguists they are synonyms: the tendency is towards the use of ‘agreement’, which is the term I will use. Some others have distinguished the terms, but they have done so in a contradictory manner. and potentially confusing ways. ” (Greville G. Corbett, “Agreement”, Cambridge University Press, 2006)
  • “There is a long tradition of treating the agreement on verbs and the agreement on adjectives as two very different phenomena. In fact, the two are sometimes given different names: concord for the phenomenon of adjectives that match the names which modify, unlike the proper agreement for the relationship that verbs have with their subjects and objects. For example, [Noam] Chomsky (2001: 34n.5) writes’ There is a similar but distinct agreement relationship, concord, which involves to Merge alone. ‘And there are some good reasons for this traditional distinction. ” (Mark C. Baker, “Agreement Syntax and Concord , ‘ Cambridge University Press, 2008) Concord in English Grammar
  • Concord or agreement occurs when one element of a sentence assumes the morphosyntactic characteristics of another element.” (Mark Aronoff and Kirsten Fudeman, “What is morphology?”, 2nd. Ed. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011)

Verbal and Nominal Agreement

Verbal and nominal agreement is a relationship that ensures that words agree with each other.

Verb agreement ensures that verbs agree with subjects, while nominal agreement ensures that nouns agree with adjectives, articles, numerals, and pronouns.

Example: We will study complicated rules and examples together.

In this example, when we agree the subject (we) with the verb (we will study) we are making the verb agreement.

In turn, when we agree the nouns (rules and examples) with the adjective (complicated) we are making nominal agreement.

verb agreement rules

To ensure verb agreement, we need to respect the number and person relationships between verb and subject. Let’s look at some rules.

1. Compound subject agreement before the verb

When the subject is compound and comes before the verb, this verb must always be in the plural. Examples:

  • Maria and José talked until dawn.
  • Construction and painting will be done tomorrow.

2. Compound subject agreement after the verb

When the compound subject comes after the verb, the verb can either be plural or agree with the closest subject. Examples:

  • Director and teachers spoke .
  • The principal and teachers spoke.

3. Subject agreement formed by different grammatical persons

When the subject is compound, but the grammatical persons are different, the verb must be plural. However, he will agree with the person who, grammatically, has priority.

This means that the 1st person (I, we) has priority over the 2nd (you, you) and the 2nd person has priority over the 3rd (he, they). Examples:

  • We, you and them are going to the party.
  • Do you and he speak another language?

Nominal agreement rules

To ensure nominal agreement, we need to respect gender and number relationships between nouns, adjectives, articles, numerals and pronouns. Let’s look at some rules.

1. Agreement between noun and more than one adjective

When there is more than one adjective for a noun, there are two ways to agree:

Put the article before the last adjective. Examples:

  • The French and Italian languages ​​are charming.
  • Classical and popular music are artistic manifestations.

Put the noun and the article that accompanies it in the plural. Examples:

  • The French and Italian languages ​​are charming.
  • Classical and popular music are artistic manifestations.

2. Agreement between nouns and an adjective

When there is more than one noun and only one adjective, there are two ways to agree:

If the adjective comes BEFORE the nouns, the adjective must agree with the closest noun. Examples:

  • Beautiful daughter and baby.
  • Dear son and daughter.

If the adjective comes AFTER the nouns, the adjective must agree with the closest noun or with all nouns. Examples:

  • Perfect pronunciation and vocabulary .
  • Vocabulary and perfect pronunciation .
  • Perfect pronunciation and vocabulary .
  • Perfect vocabulary and pronunciation.

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