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Concord- Some Tips to Write Correct English

Updated on September 7, 2012


For many countries, English is a second language. So they have some problems in writing and speaking specially in grammar.To write correct English is really a challenge for non-English people. These are very common mistakes that people commit.

Here are some rules that should be kept in mind while writing it.

Concord is agreement of the verb with its subject. In other words, not only the person of the verb must agree with the person of the subject, but also the verb must agree with the subject in number also. There are certain rules to make the verb agree with its subject. Some of them are as under-

1. If two or more than two singular nouns or pronouns are joined by ‘and’, they take the plural form of the verb.

Ex.- a. Jack and Jill are going to college.

b. Nick and John are best friends.

2. If two or more than two nouns refer to the same person or thing, the verb remains singular.

Ex.- A great orator and professor had arrived.

3. If two nouns are expressing a single idea the verb remains singular.

Ex. a.Slow and steady wins race.

b. Time and tide waits for none.

4. If the nouns/pronouns are joined with ‘either……….or’, ‘neither……nor’, the verb shall be used to according to the nearest subject.

Ex. Neither the captain nor the players were present.

5. Nouns preceded by ‘each’, ‘every’, ‘one’, ‘either’, ‘neither’ and ‘many a’ takes singular verbs.

Ex. a. Each of the student will get a concession ticket.

b. One of my friends was a lawyer.

c. Either of these two professors is going to be the Vice-Chancellor.

d. Many a student has failed in the competition.

6. Words connected to a singular subject by ‘with’, ‘together with’, ‘along with’ and ‘in addition to’ do not affect the number of the verb and therefore take a singular verb.

Ex. a. The lady along with her husband is waiting outside the professor’s chamber.

b. The manager with his staff has arrived

7. When a plural noun denoting distance, weight, height or amount of money is illustrated as a single unit. It takes a singular verb.

Ex. a. Five hundred kilometres is not a big distance nowadays.

b. ten rupees is a big sum, if one does not earn.

8. When two subjects are joined by ‘as well as’ the verb agrees with the first subject.

Ex. The students as well as their teachers were excellent.

9. Phrases like 'a lot of', 'a great deal of', 'some of', 'most of', 'plenty of' are singular when they refer to quantity and are plural when they refer to number.


a. A lot of money is required to establish business.

b. A lot of books have been borrowed.

10. The nouns that seem plural in form but singular in meaning take a singular verb.

Ex. Mathematics is an important subject.

Check Your English

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    • anupma profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Anupma Srivastava 

      5 years ago from India

      You are welcome Laurie.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Well your hub is great because I am not good at spelling, or even some definitions of words. I express myself better with poems than with writing an article for some reason. Articles seem to be where I make all my mistakes.

      I think my teacher lied to me lol, because I use to win spelling bees and did receive a very good mark in English/grammar.

      She must of felt bad for me.

      Thank you for this


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I voted way up!

    • anupma profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Anupma Srivastava 

      6 years ago from India

      Thanks Maralex for your visit and comment. Brackets are put to give some extra information or thought, while quotation mark is used to write speaker’s words written down exactly as they were spoken.

      I think it will help you.

    • anupma profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Anupma Srivastava 

      6 years ago from India

      Thanks for your kind visit and comment tTombso08 and Maralexa.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Great information, Anupma! Well constructed hub with a lot of valuable information.

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 

      6 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      Your hub is excellent! With English being a second language for you, I'm impressed. I learned from your examples 4. and 5. (I believe that 'student' in example 5.a should be plural.)

      What I really need extra help with is where to place a bracket ) or the quotations mark " at the end of a sentence, especially in dialogue.

      Thank you for sharing this excellent article. Voted up, useful and interesting.


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