Agreement Can Be: How to Achieve Clarity and Consistency in Your Writing
As a writer, one of the most important skills you can possess is the ability to communicate your ideas clearly and effectively. One way to achieve this is by using proper agreement in your writing. Agreement refers to the consistent use of verb tense, subject-verb agreement, and pronoun agreement throughout your writing. When agreement is inconsistent or unclear, it can lead to confusion and undermine the credibility of your writing.
Here are some tips for achieving clarity and consistency in your writing by using proper agreement:
1. Pay attention to verb tense
One common mistake in writing is switching between past and present tense. This can be confusing for readers, particularly when the timeline of events is not clear. Choose one tense and stick to it throughout your writing. If you need to switch tenses, do so only when there is a clear change in time or perspective.
2. Use subject-verb agreement correctly
In English, the subject of a sentence (the noun or pronoun that the sentence is about) needs to agree with the verb (the action or state of being). This means that singular subjects take singular verbs, and plural subjects take plural verbs. For example, “The dog barks” is correct, while “The dog bark” is not. Be sure to check your writing for subject-verb agreement errors and correct them as needed.
3. Ensure pronoun agreement
Pronouns (such as he, she, they, etc.) must agree with their antecedents (the noun or pronoun that they refer to) in terms of gender and number. For example, “She brought her book” is correct, while “She brought his book” is not. When using pronouns, be sure to review your writing for agreement errors and adjust them accordingly.
4. Be consistent in your use of terms
When writing about a particular concept or idea, be consistent in your use of terms to avoid confusion. For example, if you are writing about “customer satisfaction,” use that term consistently throughout your writing rather than switching between “customer happiness” or “satisfaction of customers.”
Proper agreement in your writing helps ensure clear communication and enhances the overall quality of your work. By paying attention to verb tense, subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, and consistent use of terms, you can achieve clarity and consistency in your writing. When your message is clear and your writing is consistent, you can be confident that your audience will understand and appreciate your ideas.