Agreement (linguistics)

Type of inflection whereby a word changes form depending on related words

Again as with person, there is agreement in number between pronouns (or their corresponding possessives) and antecedents:

In English this is not such a common feature, although there are certain determiners that occur specifically with singular or plural nouns only:

There is also agreement in gender between pronouns and antecedents. Examples of this can be found in English (although English pronouns principally follow natural gender rather than grammatical gender):

In this example, what is copied is not a prefix, but rather the initial syllable of the head "river".

Modern English does not have a particularly large amount of agreement, although it is present.

Apart from verbs, the main examples are the determiners “this” and “that”, which become “these” and “those” respectively when the following noun is plural:

In the present tense (indicative mood), the following verbs have irregular conjugations for the third-person singular:

The highly irregular verb to be is the only verb with more agreement than this in the present tense.

- If wealth is lost, nothing is lost. If health is lost, something is lost. If the character is lost, everything is lost.

Exceptions: When the subject is followed by each, the verb agrees to the original subject.

- Double coincidence of wants occurs when two parties each desire to sell what the other exactly wants to buy.

Exceptions: Ten dollars were scattered on the floor. (= Ten dollar bills)

Exceptions: Fraction or percentage can be singular or plural based on the noun that follows it.

- One in three people globally do not have access to safe drinking water.

- A food web is a graphical representation of what-eats-what in an ecosystem.

(But at times, it is considered better to reword such grammatically correct but awkward sentences.)

Exceptions: British English, however, tends to treat team and company names as plural.

India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in a pulsating final to deliver World Cup glory to their cricket-mad population for the first time since 1983. (BBC)India wins cricket World Cup for 1st time in 28 years. (Washington Post)

Compared with English, Latin is an example of a highly inflected language. The consequences for agreement are thus:

Verbs must agree in person and number, and sometimes in gender, with their subjects. Articles and adjectives must agree in case, number and gender with the nouns they modify.

In Latin, a pronoun such as "ego" and "tu" is only inserted for contrast and selection. Proper nouns and common nouns functioning as subject are nonetheless frequent. For this reason, Latin is described as a null-subject language.

An example of this is the verb travailler, which goes as follows (the single words in italic type are pronounced /tʁa.vaj/):

On the other hand, a verb like partir has (the single words in italic type are pronounced /paʁ/):

The final S or T is silent, and the other three forms sound different from one another and from the singular forms.

Articles, possessives and other determinants also decline for number and (only in the singular) for gender, with plural determinants being the same for both genders. This normally produces three forms: one for masculine singular nouns, one for feminine singular nouns, and another for plural nouns of either gender:

Verbs have 6 different forms in the present tense, for three persons in singular and plural. As in Latin, subject is frequently dropped.

Another characteristic is agreement in participles, which have different forms for different genders:

Class and number are indicated with prefixes (or sometimes their absence), which are not always the same for nouns, adjectives and verbs, as illustrated by the examples.