Agreement and Subordination: The Basics
As a copy editor, you know that there are many grammatical rules that need to be followed in writing. One of the most important rules is the agreement and subordination of sentences. This rule is vital in ensuring that your writing is clear, concise, and easy to understand. In this article, we will delve deeper into what agreement and subordination are and why they are important in writing.
Agreement refers to the agreement in number, gender, and person between the noun and the verb in a sentence. In simpler terms, it means that the subject and verb in a sentence should agree with each other. For example, in the sentence “The cat chases the mouse,” the subject is “cat,” which is singular, while the verb “chases” is also singular. The subject and verb agree in number, making the sentence grammatically correct.
However, sometimes it may be challenging to determine the correct verb to use, especially with compound subjects or subjects that are separated by intervening words. In such instances, you should focus on the subject that is closest to the verb and ensure that the verb agrees with that subject. In the sentence “The dog and the cat run in the park,” the subject is plural since it consists of two nouns, “dog” and “cat.” The verb “run,” therefore, should be in plural form.
On the other hand, subordination refers to the relationship between clauses in a sentence. It involves joining two or more sentences to create a complex sentence. In a complex sentence, there is one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses. The subordinate clause cannot stand on its own as a complete sentence and relies on the main clause for context.
Subordinate clauses are usually introduced by subordinating conjunctions such as “although,” “while,” “because,” “since,” and “when.” These conjunctions help to show the relationship between the ideas expressed in both clauses. For example, in the sentence “Although it was raining, John went to the store,” the subordinate clause “although it was raining” is dependent on the main clause “John went to the store” for context.
Importance of Agreement and Subordination
Agreement and subordination are essential in writing as they help to create clear and precise sentences. Following these rules can help to eliminate ambiguity and confusion in your writing. Consistently using the correct verb and noun agreement can also help to improve the readability of your writing by making it more cohesive and logical.
Subordination, on the other hand, is vital in avoiding the use of run-on sentences and sentence fragments. It also allows you to express complex ideas in a more organized and coherent manner.
Agreement and subordination are crucial rules that should always be followed when writing to ensure clarity and coherence. These rules may take some time to master, but with practice, they can become second nature. As a copy editor, your role is to ensure that all written content adheres to these rules and that it reads smoothly and coherently.