Grammatical Agreement Linguistics

Grammatical Agreement in Linguistics: A Guide for Writers

Grammatical agreement is a fundamental concept in linguistics and plays a key role in the coherence and clarity of a language. In essence, agreement refers to the way in which words in a sentence are matched in terms of their gender, number, and case. It is a crucial element in a well-written sentence and is something that every writer should be familiar with.

Gender Agreement

Gender agreement, also known as grammatical gender, is the classification of nouns into masculine, feminine, and neuter categories. In many languages, gender is an inherent property of the noun, and it determines the form of the adjective, pronoun, and verb that modifies it. For example, in Spanish, the word “hombre” is masculine, and the corresponding adjective “alto” must also be masculine, resulting in “hombre alto”.

Number Agreement

Number agreement is the pairing of singular or plural nouns with their corresponding verbs, adjectives, and pronouns. This is important in order to avoid awkward or confusing sentences. For example, in English, the singular noun “cat” requires a singular verb like “is” or “meows”, while the plural noun “cats” requires a plural verb like “are” or “meow”.

Case Agreement

Case agreement refers to matching the form of pronouns or adjectives with the case of the noun they modify. In some languages, nouns can be marked by case, which indicates their syntactic function in the sentence. For example, in German, the nominative case is used for the subject of a sentence, while the accusative case is used for the direct object.

Why is Grammatical Agreement Important?

Grammatical agreement is crucial for effective communication, as it ensures that the correct words are used to describe the intended meaning. A lack of agreement can lead to ambiguity or confusion for the reader or listener. As a writer, it is important to pay attention to grammatical agreement to ensure that the sentences are clear, concise, and effective.


In summary, grammatical agreement plays a fundamental role in the structure and clarity of a language. It is essential for writers to understand gender, number, and case agreement to effectively convey their intended meaning. By paying attention to grammatical agreement, writers can ensure that their sentences are clear, concise, and effective, resulting in better communication and comprehension for their readers.

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