Fault agreement refers to the grammatical agreement between subjects and verbs in a sentence. It is a crucial part of writing that is often overlooked, yet it can have a significant impact on the clarity and credibility of your content.
Fault agreement errors occur when the subject and verb in a sentence do not agree in number. For instance, if you were to write, “The team of players are playing football,” you would have made a fault agreement error. The subject in the sentence is “team,” which is singular; however, the verb “are playing” is plural. The correct sentence should be, “The team of players is playing football.”
Fault agreement errors can be challenging to detect, even for experienced writers. However, they can easily be avoided by following these simple guidelines:
1. Identify the subject: The first step in ensuring fault agreement is to identify the subject of your sentence. The subject is the noun or pronoun that the sentence is about.
2. Check the number: Once you have identified the subject, check if it is singular or plural. This will help you to determine the correct form of the verb.
3. Match the verb: The verb in your sentence must match the number of your subject. If the subject is singular, the verb must be singular. If it is plural, the verb must be plural.
4. Watch out for tricky subjects: Some nouns may seem plural, but they are singular. Examples include news, mathematics, economics, and physics. In such instances, the verb must be singular.
5. Avoid compound subjects: When two or more subjects are joined by “and,” they form a compound subject. In this case, the verb should be plural. For example, “John and Mary are going to the party.”
Proper fault agreement is essential for effective communication, especially in business writing and academic research. Fault agreement errors can make your writing appear unprofessional, and could potentially lead to misunderstandings. Therefore, always take the time to review your writing for fault agreement errors before submitting it for publication.
In conclusion, fault agreement is a crucial aspect of writing that should be taken seriously by all writers. Follow the guidelines mentioned above to ensure that your writing is free from fault agreement errors. If you are unsure about the correct number of your subject or verb, consult a grammar guide or seek the advice of a professional copy editor. Finally, always proofread your work for fault agreement errors and other grammatical mistakes before publishing it.