30 Examples To Help You Master Concord


What
is concord?

When we use the word ‘concord’ in everyday speech, it means
‘agreement or harmony between people or groups’ (thanks, Oxford
Dictionary
). 

When we use the word in the context of grammar, it has a
similar meaning: grammatical agreement between two parts of a sentence. An
important language skill to master is subject-verb concord.

The basics

Subject-verb concord is when the subject of a sentence and the verb of a sentence agree. Simply, if the subject of the sentence is singular, the verb must be singular. If the subject of a sentence is plural, the verb must be plural. Look at these examples:

1. The pages (subject) is (verb) held together by a staple. 
2. The pages (subject) are (verb) held together by a staple.

Number 2 is correct, because the subject, ‘pages’, and the verb, ‘are’, are both plural. They agree.

It’s easy, yes? Let’s gear up and try something more difficult.

A phrase in between the subject and the verb

Look at these examples:

3. The message between the lines is that we need to finish before Monday. 
4. The message between the lines are that we need to finish before Monday.

The temptation here is to look at the word in front of the verb (the plural ‘lines’) and choose the verb that agrees with it (the plural ‘are’). This is wrong. The subject of the sentence is not ‘lines’. It’s ‘message’. So, because the subject, ‘message’, is singular, we use the singular verb ‘is’. The phrase ‘between the lines’ is a prepositional phrase (starting with a preposition), which is why it’s not the subject of the sentence. 

Try your hand at these:

5. The case of champagne bottles are for the year-end party.
6. The case of champagne bottles is for the year-end party.

The correct answer is number 6. ‘Case’ is singular, so use the singular verb ‘is’. 

7. The sentiment in our offices is that our bonuses were measly this year.
8. The sentiment in our offices are that our bonuses were measly this year. 

The correct answer is number 7. ‘Sentiment’ is singular, and the singular verb ‘is’ agrees with it. 

Two subjects connected by either/or, or neither/nor

If you have two singular subjects that are connected by either/or, or neither/nor, use the singular verb. Look at this:

9. Neither Sibongile nor Ted has the keys to the stationery cupboard. 
10. Either Mary or Shandu is manning the info desk at the conference. 

Even though you’re discussing two people, only one of them (singular) is taking action, so the verb is singular.

What do you do when one of the subjects is plural and the other isn’t? Look at these examples:

11. Neither Sibongile (singular) nor the personal assistants (plural) have the keys to the stationery cupboard. 
12. Either the stewards (plural) or Mary (singular) is manning the info desk at the conference. 

Do you see how the verb agrees with the subject closest to it? However, the second sentence sounds awkward, so rather write sentences like this with the second subject being plural, and then make the verb plural. Sentence number 12 should rather be rewritten as:

13. Either Mary or the stewards are manning the info desk at the conference.

Two subjects connected by ‘and’

When you have two subjects connected by ‘and’, use the plural form of the verb.

14. Tshepiso and Sbo are responsible for the exchange server. 
15. Elize and Raveshan are our new project managers.

There are two exceptions to the rule. The first (see number 13) is when a compound subject connected with ‘and’ is seen as a singular subject due to popular use. The second is when the subjects connected by ‘and’ are the same person or entity (see number 14).

16. Pap and wors is my favourite meal. 
17. The creator and distributor of the software is Energesix Ltd. 

Plural subjects that call for singular verbs

Use a singular verb when you have a subject that conveys a single unit of distance, time, or money.

18. Ninety-five cents is a great bargain for a SIM card. 
19. One hundred kilometres is a gruelling daily commute. 
20. Twenty minutes is all I have to prepare for the meeting. 

Other subjects that call for singular verbs

The following words need singular verbs: each, everyone, everybody, anyone, anybody, somebody, nobody, someone, none, and no-one. Look at these examples:

21. Each of our staff members has to fill in an evaluation form. 
22. Anyone who wants a day off in lieu of overtime must still fill out a leave form.  
23. Someone has left a coffee cup on the glass of the photocopy machine. 
24. None of us wants to admit to being behind on filing.  

Subjects that are collective nouns

Look at these examples:

25. The board wants to make the decision by next Thursday. 
26. The staff is in a meeting.
27. The team is due to fly out today. 

The board, staff, and team are made up of many individual members, but each forms a collective, singular subject. Thus, a singular verb is used. Be careful not to make this mistake, though:

28. The staff is in a meeting to discuss their appraisals.

Now, you have a singular subject (staff), a singular verb (is), and a plural pronoun (their) in the same sentence. Rather rewrite the sentence in one of the following ways:

29. The staff is in a meeting to discuss appraisals.
30. The staff members are in a meeting to discuss their appraisals. 

All the best to you! If you found this post helpful, why not
consider doing The Plain
Language Programme
?

 by Donna Radley

If you enjoyed this post, you will like:

~~~~~

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This article has 100 comments

  1. DLK

    Hi, Donna.

    I’m pretty good at most but do get tripped up on the have, has, had on occasion but want to ask about this one. It does not flow well for me so let me ask about changing our into the to go with singular for ‘the new project’.
    What are your thoughts on this?

    15. Elize and Raveshan are our new project managers.

    Elize and Raveshan are the new project managers.

  2. Donna Radley

    DLK, I apologise for only responding to your question now. I didn’t see it straight away.

    Grammatically, both ‘our’ and ‘the’ are acceptable, and neither is more acceptable than the other when it comes to denoting singular or plural in the case of concord.

    However, there is a subtle difference in nuance between the two words. The word ‘our’ tells you that the person speaking is already a staff member at the company under discussion. The word ‘the’ is more generic, and speaker could be a staff member at the company, or not – we have no way of knowing.

    Good luck!

  3. debashis nayak

    Thnx 4 d help maam!!!

  4. Emedike chisom m.

    Iam happy today becouse iam finding all those rules difficute &confuse. thanks a lot now iam ok with a little one i learn .

  5. Auwal ladan

    I want 2 see the concert of concord

  6. Adesoye ayowumi

    Thanks for loading this page. It help me a lot

  7. Adesoye ayowumi

    Thanks for loading this page. It help me a lot

  8. Hollyman

    Cool

  9. babs

    ma,can u please give me 5 diffrent types of concord that we have with examples ma

  10. Donna Radley

    Babs, I’m happy to help with more examples. Is there a specific aspect of concord with which you struggle? Look at the kinds of concord and examples in the post to see which of those are difficult for you, and I’ll work out more sentences to help you.

  11. beauty

    thank for helping me out

  12. maria japhet aladetan

    I am so happy,because I am relief,thanks alot

  13. Adeyemi

    pls who can list five kinds of concord for me?

  14. emmanuel

    thanks alot…its helpful

  15. Shaik Fayaz

    Thank you so much.it’s helpful

  16. thola

    I’m happy to get this page

  17. hamzart abibat

    thank u,its help alot

  18. MASIXOLE MBULELO

    thank you a lot

  19. Writers Write

    We’re glad this article has helped you.

  20. Moses

    Thank u very much ma..can you please explain further on the different types of concord

  21. Priyanka

    Thank you sooooooooo much

  22. gift

    cool

  23. KB

    very very helpful. Thank YOU

  24. RICHARD

    am having a slight problem in the use of had has and have

  25. zoe

    It great I love it

  26. felix Nigeria

    am so much grateful ma’am. i ve learnt a great deal. more grease to your elbow.

  27. joseph

    I really love that it gives me more understanding about concord verb. Thank you ma

  28. Omkar Chatterjee

    Thanks u so much…

  29. Lucky henry

    It’s cool thanks,but i really want to know the correct sentence between ” I AM SLEEPING IN MY BED and I AM SLEEPING ON MY BED” please help me out,thanks……Gurudgm@gmail.com

  30. Student01

    Thank you so much. This was rather confusing but thanks to this blog I’m going to ace my exam tomorrow!!😄😊😋

  31. Shraddha Sharma

    Thank u so much

  32. Bonganjalo Makeke

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  33. ukeme

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    thanks its helpful

  35. King

    Thanks so dearly ,!

  36. King

    Thanks so dearly

  37. mariam

    thanks

  38. mariam

    thanks

  39. Mavis Martha

    thanks very much for the update

  40. Anu

    Thank you Donna, that was a simple and very useful write up… !! 🙂 Waiting for more tips..

  41. Boniface Mwewa

    vry helpful…

  42. racheal

    Its helpful

  43. sauce kid

    thank you for this because it has changed my little blunder

  44. mustapha prince

    thanks so much mom

  45. Maruthi

    Thank you so much Donna, it helped me a lot

  46. Gavin

    Hi Donna, would you kindly help with this one: The police (is/are) carrying guns and gas.

  47. joseph rach

    its really great to know such tinx…u ar bless maam..

  48. oreoluwa

    i like it, but how to get the rules is not easy please help to develop that aspect.merci beacu

  49. oreoluwa oduwole sarah

    i have just solved a question on concord and am fully satisfied, when i used your page.Thanks

  50. Nina

    You are brilliant, Ma’am

  51. Aliyu Usman FCE Katsina

    very grateful i appreciate the work. Thanks alot

  52. Yash

    Thanx for helping me but if I don’t secure full in my test then sorry you are useless nonsense a big lol and stop teaching you fool

  53. kenosis ralte

    thank you so much … it helps me alot

  54. Imagold Essien

    thanks.dis is really helping me prepare for an examz

  55. Feigan

    Really thank you Mam you are that woman!

  56. bernardo

    Is it correct? if I write: (not less me but but none of me Jesus,) does this sentence make sense?

  57. bernardo

    (Not less of me but none of me)

  58. Godwin

    Ma i tank u 4 making me 2 understand de term concord&its examples

  59. MRS LAWRENCIA NWANKWO

    good

  60. Azeez

    thanks, it helps me a lot.

  61. SAFIYAN

    TOU LETAR WORDS

  62. francis

    thanks for the post,it has helped me allot:-D

  63. Kennedy

    could you please tell me some possible areas of concords at sea

  64. Riljo Denny

    Thanks for help in ASSIGHMENT

  65. King Ace 007

    thanks a lot ,u saved me frm da terror of 50 sentences

  66. Agboola

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  67. ADEBAYO

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  68. Peprah Emmanuel

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  69. TUMISANG NCUBE

    this examples are very helpful

  70. nanthini priya

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  71. NYAMEKYE ISAAC

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  72. Tawiah En Ock

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    am so glad when i look into dis page thanks so much. ma can u pls consolidate more .

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  75. Olumide David Oluwafemi

    Really senseable

  76. Emmanuel

    This is wonderful and helpful, tell me how and why i should fail my english exam.

  77. bisola

    thanks maam,it really helped

  78. Folake

    Very helpful; thanks.

  79. Akeem Thomas

    Thank you so much for your help I clearly understand concords now

  80. Akeem Thomas

    Thanks so much I understand Concords clearly now

  81. Akeem Thomas

    I really appreciated your work

  82. Akeem Thomas

    Thx BYE

  83. Dora Thomas

    pls i need some examples of a “pair of” agreement

  84. Dora Thomas

    pls i need some examples of a “pair of” agreement

  85. evans

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  87. Alaba Adeniji

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  88. Sivaram

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  89. Christiana Agyenim-Boateng

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  90. Christiana Agyenim-Boateng

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  91. Fauzia

    Thank you do much

  92. fauzia

    I mean thank you so much

  93. Abubakar kuyanbana

    i am happi and greatfull about this post beause it help me alot during answering my assignment about the types of concord

  94. Happiness Reuben

    g2g now I’m good to go with proximity concord thanks a whole lot. But I still need more.

  95. Happiness Reuben

    g2g now I’m good to go with proximity concord thanks a whole lot. But I still need more.

  96. Elzacks

    Wow wow thats is really wanderfull

  97. ASHIK K SURA

    Thank you…

  98. Seidu Yussifa

    May we have long lives n u will continue to help us.

  99. Ugoanyanwu Blessing Chinaza

    Explain all the types of concord

  100. ORLUNWOR

    THNKS MA’AM,

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