Noun Adjective Agreement in English

Noun Adjective Agreement in English: What You Need to Know

As an editor or writer, it’s important to understand the rules of noun adjective agreement in English. This is a crucial aspect of the language that can greatly impact the clarity and professionalism of your writing. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of noun adjective agreement, common mistakes to avoid, and tips for ensuring consistency in your writing.

What is Noun Adjective Agreement?

Noun adjective agreement refers to the grammatical agreement between a noun and the adjective that modifies it. In English, adjectives must agree with nouns in gender, number, and case. This means that if the noun is singular, the adjective must also be singular. If the noun is plural, the adjective must be plural as well. The same goes for gender and case – the adjective must match the gender and case of the noun it is modifying.


– Singular noun: The beautiful girl walks down the street.

– Plural noun: The beautiful girls walk down the street.

– Gender agreement: The tall man and woman dance together.

– Case agreement: The happy dog wags its tail.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One of the most common mistakes in noun adjective agreement is failing to match the number of the noun with the number of the adjective. For example, saying “the girl are beautiful” instead of “the girls are beautiful.” Another mistake is to use the wrong gender pronoun, such as using “he” instead of “she” or vice versa. Additionally, writers often overlook case agreement, using “its” instead of “their” or “her” instead of “hers.”

Tips for Ensuring Consistency

To ensure consistency in your writing, use a style guide that outlines the rules for noun adjective agreement. For example, the Chicago Manual of Style recommends using “they” as a gender-neutral pronoun and avoiding awkward constructions like “he or she” or “his or her.” You may also want to create a checklist of common mistakes to watch out for and proofread your work carefully.

In conclusion, noun adjective agreement is a fundamental aspect of English grammar that writers and editors must master. By understanding the rules of agreement and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure that your writing is clear, professional, and effective.