Concord — Consistency in gender, name, case, person

Eng­lish lan­guage is pecu­liar because when you write a sen­tence, you will not be able to real­ize that you have made a mis­take because when you read it casu­ally, it sounds like a cor­rect sen­tence. When you probe it care­fully, you can find a mis­take either in spelling, sen­tence for­ma­tion or in gram­mar. Of all these three, iden­ti­fy­ing an erro­neous gram­mar is tough is tricky because it has got many rules and excep­tions. In this arti­cle, we are going to talk about some of the com­mon gram­mat­i­cal errors that many of us make in day-to-day life.

Try to read the fol­low­ing sen­tence aloud

It is I who is relieved from the pain. 

When you read the above sen­tence, you don’t think that there is any error, do you? Even I didn’t real­ize that there is a gram­mat­i­cal error until I read it care­fully for sec­ond time. The sec­ond “is” is the rel­a­tive pro­noun in the above sen­tence must agree with the per­son “I” and num­ber of their antecedents. The rel­a­tive pro­noun of I is “am”. Hence the cor­rect form of the above sen­tence is

It is I who am relieved from the pain.

examples of concord

exam­ples of concord

To avoid these kinds of mis­takes, write sim­ple sen­tence like, I am relieved from the pain. This will avoid mak­ing of mis­takes. This error is known as gram­mat­i­cal agree­ment, “Con­cord” in tech­ni­cal terms. Con­cord: The rules of syn­tax that tells the linked nouns, pro­nouns to be con­sis­tent in gen­der, num­ber, case, person.

The fol­low­ing are some of the com­mon mis­takes made in Eng­lish gram­mar in the con­text of concord.

Mix­ing of sin­gu­lar and plural pro­nouns: Mix­ing of sin­gu­lar and plural expres­sions in a sen­tence is one of the pri­mary rea­sons for mak­ing gram­mat­i­cal mis­takes in sen­tence cre­ation. This hap­pens in var­i­ous parts of speech viz., nouns, pro­nouns, verbs, adjec­tives. Some sin­gu­lar words appear like plural words and we tend to use plural pronouns/verbs while con­struct­ing sen­tences with them. The below exam­ple will make it clear

  • Every­one played their role prop­erly in the skit (incor­rect)
  • Every­one played his or her role prop­erly in the skit (cor­rect)

Here every­one is a sin­gu­lar noun, hence the cor­re­spond­ing pro­noun also should be in sin­gu­lar form i.e., his/her not in plural form [them]. This is same in case of nouns like some­one, any­one, firm, com­pany etc.

Mix­ing of sin­gu­lar and plural adjec­tives: Read the below exam­ple to know the accep­tance between adjec­tives and noun.

  • I don’t eat those kind of apples (incor­rect)
  • I don’t eat that kind of apples (cor­rect)
  • I don’t eat those kinds of apples (cor­rect)

If sin­gu­lar, the noun kind needs to be qual­i­fied by the sin­gu­lar pos­ses­sive pro­noun that. If  plural, it needs the plural pro­noun those.

Read the fol­low­ing are exam­ples to under­stand con­cord con­cept more evidently

  • Nei­ther he nor I were there (incor­rect)
  • Nei­ther he nor I was there (cor­rect)
  • The idea of the mem­bers are not good (incor­rect)
  • The idea of the mem­bers is not good (cor­rect)
  • The ideas of the mem­bers are not good (cor­rect)
  • It is me who helped him (incor­rect)
  • It is I who helped him (cor­rect)

We hope you under­stood the cor­rect usage of nouns, pro­nouns, verbs, adjec­tives in a sen­tence. Still, if you have any doubt, please feel free to ask here.

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