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  • By concord, we mean agreement, and by this agreement, we mean certain rules set aside to ensure that every part of a sentence coheres and makes sense.
  • Concord mainly involves numbers, persons, gender of the verb, noun, pronoun, adjective, antecedent.
Number/Person/Gender Verb
  1. A verb agreeing with its subject in number, person, and gender means that if the subject of a sentence is a singular noun, the verb must also be singular, if the subject is plural, the verb must be plural. For example:
    1. The man (singular) is good
    2. The men are good (plural)
    3. He has finally been accepted (singular)
    4. They have finally been accepted (plural)


    • Exception 1: When a clause is employed as the subject of a sentence, the verb remains singular. For example:
      1. That the men had broken the rules, is no more in doubt.
      2. Whatever you find in the room is yours.
    • Exception 2: 
      • Every verb taking an ‘s’ is singular while such verb without an ‘s’ is plural. For example:
        1. sing (plural) – sings (singular)
        2. run (plural) – runs (singular)
      • Summation/Proper nouns ending with an ‘s’ take singular verbs, including countries beginning with ‘the’. For example:
        1. Physics
        2. Measles
        3. The Netherlands
        4. the gambia
  2. If one subject is affirmative and the other, negative, the verb agrees with the affirmative. Therefore, if the subject in affirmation is singular, the verb remains singular while if the subject is plural, the verb is plural. For example:
    1. The girl (positive), not the men (negative), is here (singular verb)
    2. The managers (plural positive subject), not the secretary (negative), are to blame (plural verb)
  3. If two subjects are linked by either-or, neither-nor, the verb agrees with the nearer subject. For example:
    1. Neither the students nor the police is to blame
    2. Neither the editors nor the reporters have received the notice.
  4. When a subject of a sentence is one, anybody, everyone, nobody, more, much, each of, take singular verbs except words like many/both, some/several, few take plural verbs as they always form the subject of the verb. For example:
    1. Everyone is here
    2. Each of the boys is given a badge
    3. Nobody was absent
    4. Many are called but few are chosen
    5. Several students have been attacked by the dog
    6. In my village, few men have been infected by the virus
  5. When a subject is joined to another with ‘and’ but both represent and express one idea, a singular verb must be used. for example:
    1. The Director of Access bank and the secretary of my town union is already here
    2. Her father’s teacher and biographer is a native of Onitsha
    3. the price of tin and rubber had fallen
Noun-pronoun Agreement
  • Nouns agree with its number, person, and gender, while pronouns agree with its antecedent, the noun the pronoun refers to. For example:
    1. She went with them. (She – third person singular, subjective case, feminine gender; them – third person plural, objective case, neutral gender)
    2. They went to the stream (They – third person plural, subjective case, neutral gender)
    3. They caught some fish
    4. He put their fish in her bucket (He – third person singular, subjective case, masculine gender; their – third person plural, possessive case, neutral gender)
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