As a copy editor, one of the most critical skills I utilize on a regular basis is ensuring agreement within a piece of writing.
Agreement is the grammatical concept of ensuring all parts of a sentence match in terms of tense, person, and number. This means that subjects and verbs must agree in both tense and number, and pronouns must agree in person and number. For example, in the sentence “He walks to the store,” the subject “he” is third-person singular, therefore the verb “walks” must also be in third-person singular form.
Why is agreement important? Well, for starters, it ensures clarity in communication. If a sentence is not in agreement, it can be difficult for the reader to understand the intended meaning. Imagine reading a sentence such as “They was going to the movies,” instead of “They were going to the movies.” The first sentence is grammatically incorrect and can cause confusion for the reader.
Agreement is also crucial for maintaining professionalism in writing. When a piece of writing is rife with grammatical errors such as lack of agreement, it can be perceived as careless and unprofessional. This is especially important for businesses and organizations who want to present a polished image to their clients and customers.
Lastly, agreement is important in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). Google and other search engines prioritize high-quality, error-free content in their search results. By ensuring proper agreement in your writing, you increase the likelihood that your content will be ranked higher in search results.
In conclusion, agreement is a fundamental aspect of effective and professional writing. It ensures clarity in communication, maintains professionalism, and can even boost your SEO rankings. As a professional, I always prioritize ensuring proper agreement in any piece of writing I work on.