Agreement on Someone

Agreement on Someone: Understanding the Basics

When it comes to grammar, there are many rules to follow. One of the most important rules is subject-verb agreement. In essence, this rule states that the subject and verb in a sentence must agree in tense and number. However, when it comes to certain phrases, such as “someone”, it can be tricky to figure out the correct agreement. In this article, we will explore the basics of agreement on someone.

What Is Someone?

First and foremost, it is important to understand what “someone” means in grammatical terms. “Someone” is a singular pronoun that refers to a person whose identity is unknown or unspecified. For example, in the sentence “Someone left their coat on the chair”, we do not know who left the coat, but we know that it was one person.

Agreement on Someone with a Singular Verb

When “someone” is used as a subject in a sentence, it usually takes a singular verb. This means that the verb should be in the 3rd person singular form, which typically ends in “-s”. For example:

– Someone is coming to the party tonight.

– Someone likes to eat pizza for breakfast.

In these cases, “is” and “likes” are singular verbs that agree with the singular subject “someone”.

Agreement on Someone with a Plural Verb

However, there are some instances where “someone” can take a plural verb. This happens when the sentence contains a modifier that indicates a plural subject. For example:

– Someone, or many people, will be assigned to the project.

– Someone, along with their friends, are hosting a fundraiser.

In these cases, the modifiers “or many people” and “along with their friends” indicate that the subject is actually plural, even though “someone” is used. Therefore, “will be assigned” and “are hosting” are plural verbs that agree with the plural subject.

Agreement on Someone with Pronouns

When using pronouns to refer back to “someone”, it is important to keep in mind the gender-neutral aspect of the pronoun. Since “someone” does not indicate a specific gender, the appropriate pronouns to use are “they/them/their”. For example:

– Someone left their wallet on the counter, so they will need to come back for it.

In this sentence, “they” is used as a gender-neutral pronoun to refer back to the singular subject “someone”.

In conclusion, agreement on someone can be a bit tricky, but by following these basic rules, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct. Remember to use singular verbs for singular subjects, and plural verbs for plural subjects with modifiers. And when using pronouns to refer back to “someone”, use the gender-neutral pronouns “they/them/their”. By following these guidelines, you can write with clarity and confidence.

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