Agreement Error Definition

Agreement Error Definition: Understanding Common Grammatical Mistakes

As a copy editor with experience in search engine optimization (SEO), one of the most common grammatical errors that I come across is agreement errors. These errors occur when the subject and verb in a sentence do not match in terms of number. Agreement errors can cause confusion for readers and can even harm the credibility of a piece of writing. In this article, we`ll define agreement errors and provide examples of common types of mistakes.

What are Agreement Errors?

Agreement errors occur when a subject and verb do not match in terms of number. In English, there are two main numbers: singular and plural. A singular subject requires a singular verb, while a plural subject requires a plural verb. When the subject and verb do not match, it creates an agreement error.

For example, take the sentence “The dog barks loudly.” Here, “dog” is a singular subject, so “barks” is a singular verb that matches the subject. However, if we change the subject to be plural, we need to change the verb as well. “The dogs bark loudly.” In this case, “dogs” is a plural subject, and “bark” is a plural verb that matches the subject.

Types of Agreement Errors

Now that we understand what agreement errors are let`s take a look at some common types of mistakes.

1. Singular/Plural Confusion

This type of error occurs when a writer confuses whether a subject is singular or plural. For example, “The group of students is excited” is correct, while “The group of students are excited” is an error. “Group” is a singular subject, so we use the singular verb “is.”

2. Subject-Verb Agreement with Compound Subjects

A compound subject is when two or more subjects are in a sentence. When the subjects are joined by “and,” the verb should be plural. For example, “John and Jane are going to the store,” is correct. An example of an error would be “John and Jane is going to the store.”

3. Indefinite Pronoun Agreement

Indefinite pronouns are words like “someone,” “anyone,” “everyone,” and “no one.” These pronouns are singular, so they require a singular verb. For example, “Everyone is here” is correct, while “Everyone are here” is an error.

Why Do Agreement Errors Matter?

Agreement errors can seem like small mistakes, but they can actually harm the credibility of a writer. Readers who come across agreement errors may question the writer`s knowledge of grammar and language. Additionally, these errors can be confusing and may cause readers to misinterpret the intended meaning of a sentence or passage.

Furthermore, in the world of SEO, agreement errors can hurt a website`s search engine ranking. This is because search engines prioritize high-quality content, and errors like agreement errors can signal that a piece of writing is not well-written or informative.


Agreement errors are a common grammatical mistake that can hurt the credibility of a writer. Understanding different types of errors can help writers avoid making these mistakes and produce high-quality content. As such, it`s essential to be mindful of subject-verb agreement and to proofread writing carefully to catch any errors before publication.