What Is Concord?

Good English is not judged by or based on the number of complex vocabulary or sentences your essay contains but by the good use of concord. "Concord" is easily defined by a good number of people who rarely apply its rules. The English essays of so many persons have been awarded zero due to the continuous feud and hassle between the subject and the verb in their sentences. Undergraduates, learners and even graduates of English are no doubt victims of this unavoidable mistake; thus, my decision to write this article.
What Is Concord?
Concord is all about obeying the rules that govern the subject(s) and the verb(s) in a sentence. unarguably, if these rules are totally adhered to while writing your essay, your essay will not only be good but also be the best. Before stating these rules, it is paramount that you know the meaning of concord.

What Is Concord?
In simple terms, concord is defined as the agreement between all the parts of a clause or sentence, particularly between the subject and the verb.

Rules of Concord
1. Singular nouns should take singular verbs.

  • Emeka needs help.
  • Emeka and Kalu need help.
2. All personal pronouns at the subject position except the third-person singular pronouns (he/she/it) should take plural verbs.

  • love delicious meals.
  • We love delicious meals.
  • They love...
  • You love...
The words underlined above are the personal pronouns that must take plural verbs in sentences. On the other hand, the third-person singular pronouns(he/she/it), which occupy the subject position in a sentence, must take singular verbs.

  • He loves delicious meals.
  • She loves delicious meals.
  • It loves...
'Loves' is the singular form of 'love' and goes with a singular noun or pronoun as shown in the sentences above.

Note: In English language, most nouns form their plural by the addition of 's', 'es', 'ies', 'ves' whereas verbs form their singular form by the addition of 's'. Hope you got the difference?

3. The base form of any lexical verb coming after the primary auxiliary verbs (has, have, be, is, was, had, were etc.) should be in its past participle form.

  • have rung the bell.
  • He has rung the bell.
  • The bell was rung by him.
  • The battle has just begun.
  • Let the song be sung.
4. If singular subjects are joined by either of the correlative conjunctions('either or' and 'neither nor'), the subject is considered singular, and as such, the verb will also be singular.

  • Either Emeka or Emma is coming.
  • Neither the teacher nor the principal has a pen.
5. Nouns that traditionally end in 's' should take a singular verb.

  • Measles is a deadly disease.
  • Mathematics is simple but difficult subject to many.
6. There are some cases where nouns which do not end in 's' are considered as plural nouns. In this case, such nouns should take plural verbs in sentences.

  • The rich also cry.
  • The Police are investigating the case.
  • Nigerian Clergy are very honest.
7. If the two nouns or items joined are closely related and always used together, the subject is considered singular, and the verb also becomes singular.

  • Eba and egusi soup is very delicious.
  • Bread and butter is my favourite lunch.
  • Rice and beans is very delicious too.
8. In a case where one of the two items joined is singular while the other one is plural, the verb will maintain agreement with the item closer to it.

  • Either Emeka or his teachers are angry.
  • Neither the teachers nor Emeka is angry.
In example one above, the plural verb, "are", is used because the noun closer to it is a plural noun.

9. When making use of semi-conjunctions, the verb maintains an agreement with the first item mentioned. If the first item is a singular noun, the verb automatically becomes singular irrespective of the form of the second item and vice versa. Semi-conjunctions are words that are used as conjunctions but are not actually conjunctions. Semi conjunctions include: followed by, as well as, as much as, along with, together with, no less than, including etc.

  • Emeka as well as his friends are intelligent.
  • The man's sons together with the man are notorious.
  • The rich including the manager were there before I left.

Tamuno Reuben

Those who seek knowledge seek power because the pen is mightier than the sword.


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