Things Fall Apart: Chapter 6 Summary
At the wrestling contest, an important part of the culture, Ekwefi meets with Chielo, the priestess of the Oracle. They are talking about Ezinma’s destiny since all of Ekwefi’s past children have been ogbanje, or evil children who die and then re-enter their mother’s womb to bring them pain. Chielo refers to Ezinma as “my child”.
We learn the greatest cause of Ekwefi’s sadness, which was only hinted at in the last chapter. From her conversation with Chielo, we learn that she has had children other than Ezinma, but that they have died. In Chielo, we see an example of a powerful woman among the Igbo. Her orders supersede even those of the council of men; no great decision is made without her. Yet the two women discuss Okonkwo‘s recent attack against Ekwefi. Even as we see examples of women in power, we are reminded that Igbo women are vulnerable to their husbands’ rages.
The wrestling matches are more of Achebe’s documentation of Igbo life. From the enormous amount of exposition and commentary, it is clear that Things Fall Apart is not a book meant for Igbo readers. In fact, Achebe seems to assume that the reader has little or no knowledge of Igbo culture. We see the joy of festival time and the excitement of the Igbo New Year. Achebe wants us to appreciate the beauty and strength of the Igbo people; sympathy and respect for the Igbo make the end of the novel all the more painful.
Things Fall Apart: Chapter 7 Summary
Ikemefuna has been a member of the family for three years. He makes an impression on Nwoye who has become a quite masculine character which makes Okonkwo satisfied. Okonkwo often tells stories about wars to the boys. During these stories, however, Nwoye wishes again for his mother’s stories but does not voice this thought.
An invasion of locusts begins an event that everyone celebrates in Umuofia. That night, everybody starts to collect them, because though there had not been an invasion of locusts for many years, everyone knows instinctually that they are good for eating. Ogbuefi Ezeudu visits Okonkwo in order to inform him about the Oracle’s decision: Ikemefuna must be sacrificed. Okonkwo is shocked but he hides his feelings. Ezeudu warns Okonkwo that he should not take part in the murder since he is called “father” by Ikemefuna.
When the chosen clansmen take Ikemefuna out of the village to commit the sacrifice and strike him once, he runs away to Okonkwo for help. Since the strong leader of the clan does not want to be seen as weak, Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna with great cruelty. Once he realized what he has done, everything falls apart inside him.
Ikemefuna is depicted as a perfect son and brother. He succeeds where Okonkwo cannot: he helps Nwoye to be more self-assured and confident. The exaggerated shows of masculinity Nwoye start to make are contrived and for the pleasure of his father, but Nwoye is becoming more comfortable and confident. Ikemefuna’s, with his gentleness and his love of folktales, has provided Nwoye with the positive male role model that he needed. Ikemefuna is also something of a Christ figure. He dies as a sacrifice for the good of the many; it is no surprise that Nwoye later converts to Christianity. Nwoye is disturbed by some of the practices of his own people. They fill him with a vague fear and sorrow, and he will later seek solace in a foreign religion.
The arrival of the locusts might initially worry the reader who knows that locusts are often disastrous for a community of farmers. These locusts pose no threat to the Igbo. However, they foreshadow a more dangerous swarm that will arrive later. Like the white man, they send scouts first and then arrive with strong numbers and force.
We see again Okonkwo’s terrible fear of failure, which includes a fear of being seen as weak. Despite sorrow and terror, he goes with the men when they kill Ikemefuna. He himself delivers the killing blow, even as the boy calls him “Father” and asks for his help. He was advised by the elders to stay home; to kill a relative is considered a terrible disgust to the Igbo. But Okonkwo is determined to prove himself unshakeable. In the proving, he does damage to himself and creates a rift between him and Nwoye that will never be healed.
Things Fall Apart: Chapter 8 Summary
Okonkwo hides in his hat, he doesn’t eat and sleeps for two days. Ezinma tries to look after him and they talk with each other every day. With all of Ezinma’s help, Okonkwo can’t help but wish that she were a boy. Frustrated with himself, Okonkwo rebukes himself for not being able to put up with the death of one boy, and visits his friend Obierka. There, Obierka states that he would not have killed his son.
Later another man arrives and tells them that a great man has died and his wife died after catching the news. They will put off the burial of the man until his wife is buried.
Obierka invites Okonkwo to be present when he and another man deal with his daughter’s bride price. Once there, Achebe walks the reader through the ritual of dealing for a bride price: what the men do, what the women do, etc.
Okonkwo’s fear of effeminacy and weakness drives him to actions and emotions that do not always come naturally to him. He is disturbed by the death of Ikemefuna, but he is even more disturbed that he is worried. Any emotion approaching tenderness or softness must be contained.
Obeirika, Okonkwo’s good friend, shows that Okonkwo’s attitudes, though influenced by culture, are not exactly typical for an Igbo man. Okonkwo, with the image of the tragic hero, is an extreme example of his people. He carries their traits to excess. Obeirika, on the other hand, is a rich man and a man of sensitivity. He was not present at the Ikemefuna’s death, nor does he approve of Okonkwo’s participation in the act.
There are many digressions in this chapter, as we witness the Igbo traditions or courtship. The negotiations are civil and even joyous, as the men drink great quantities of palm wine. At the close of the chapter, we are given an ominous foreshadowing of what is to come. The men all dismiss the stories of approaching white men as patently ridiculous. Their reaction to the rumour shows how unready the Africans were for the coming of the European colonial powers. Everything we have learned about the Igbo shows that their concept of war and conquest is quite different from that of the European invaders: war is fought over questions of honour rather than a desire for material gain. And European military technology is beyond anything the Igbo have. The stories of white men seem so fantastic, so far outside of anything, the Igbo have experienced, that they are immediately dismissed as myth.
Things Fall Apart: Chapter 9 Summary
For the first night in three days, Okonkwo sleeps. In the middle of the night, Ekwefi knocks at his door and tells him that Ezinma is dying. Ekwefi recognises the trials she went through, and still goes through, for Ezinma, from having a live child to sneaking her eggs, a delicacy. Okonkwo prepares medicine and tries to heal the child.
Igbo beliefs constitute one of the forces that hold their society together. Remember the title: we are reading about the disintegration of an old way of life and the end of independence for great people. High infant mortality is one of the unfortunate truths of Igbo life. Their religion tries to find meaning in this tragedy.
And although nothing supernatural happens in the novel, there are certain things in the Igbo religion that Achebe depicts as uncanny. When Okagbue searches for Ezinma’s iyi-uwa, the girl seems to go into a strange, trance-like state: she cooperates with the medicine man as if the iyi-uwa is real, and indeed, he does find a strange object in the location that she indicates. Achebe does not depict the superstitions of the Igbo as being necessarily true, but he does show that their religious beliefs often contain incredible insights. Later, the Oracle will predict with weird accuracy the methods of the white man.
Things Fall Apart: Chapter 10 Summary
A trial begins in the village. The leaders of the justice are the egwugwus: masked men who represent the ancestral spirits of the clan. Although it’s forbidden to talk about it, everybody knows that one of the egwugwus is Okonkwo. This particular trial is about a man who beat his wife, who was taken away by her brothers. The trial ends with the egwugwus stating that if the husband gave the brothers the necessary wine, they would have to give back his wife. The brothers agree to do so and frighten the man that if he ever beat her again, they would cut off his genitals.
The ceremony of the egwugwu is clearly dominated by men. Only men are in the cult of the egwugwu, and so only men are involved in the administration of justice. But for the first case of the ceremony, Achebe chooses a case involving a woman’s well-being. Here and elsewhere, he tries to show that a woman’s place in Igbo society, though vulnerable, is not unappreciated. Mgbafo, the abused bride, is protected by her brothers. Her case is viewed favourably by the judge. Although Achebe shows us that the Igbo society is deeply patriarchal, he also strives to show that Igbo woman, in at least a limited capacity, is respected and guarded. There is an interest in justice and fairness. And to keep perspective on the issue, the reader should remember that women in 19th century England and America did not enjoy any more freedom than their equals in Nigeria.
Word Stress Rules In English
What is Word Stress?
In English, We do not state each syllable with the same intensity or consistency. In a single word, we focus more on ONE syllable. We state one syllable noisily (enormous, solid, significant) and the various syllables unobtrusively.
How about we take 3 words: photo, picture taker and photographic. Do they sound similar when spoken? No. Since we emphasize (stress) ONE syllable in each word. Furthermore, it isn’t generally a similar syllable. So the “shape” of each word is extraordinary.
This post is going to focus on how to speak clearly in English using words stress correctly. This is one of the most important parts of English pronunciation. Many of my students worry about speaking English clearly and they’re afraid that their accent makes it hard for other people to understand them. But most of the time the problem isn’t an accent. It’s word stress.
Importance Of Word Stress
Word stress is essential for sounding natural in English. It’s part of our natural rhythm. When we speak in this lesson today, you’re going to learn exactly what words stress is, how you can use it, and at the end, I’m going to share with you how to pronounce some of the most challenging words in English and be sure that you’re doing it correctly.
So let’s start with what exactly is word stress and why is it so important?
Word Stress Definition
Native speakers’ ears are trained to listen for very specific sounds, and if a sound in a word isn’t correct, if it’s not stressed in the right way, it means that either they don’t understand the word correctly or they don’t understand it at all. Now to understand words stress, there’s one thing you must know.
You have to know what a syllable is. All of our words have much smaller parts and these are called syllables. A word might have only one syllable like a dog, cat, walk, drive, desk. Even words like strengths or stretched have only one syllable. They’re longer words, but there are just one syllable.
Syllables are all about the different sounds of a word, not the length of a word. And here is a great trick for knowing each syllable in a word, syllables are usually made up of one vowel sound and our chin drops every time you use a syllable.
I want you to do something with me. I want you to put your hand under your chin and I want you to say the word dog. Dog. Do you notice that your chin moves down one time when you say the word dog? That’s because there’s only one syllable. Let’s try another one. Again, I want you to put your hand under your chin and this time I want you to say the word identification.
If we slow this word way down, I want you to count how many syllables are i-den-ti-fi-ca-tion. What do you feel? How many times did you feel your chin moved down? The number should be six and that is a syllable every time your chin moves with one of those vowel sounds, it is a part of a word, a syllable. Now that you know what syllables are all about, let’s go back and talk about why these are so important for word stress.
In English, we do not stress every syllable in a word. Instead, we stress one syllable. Let me show you the difference. Identification. I-den-ti-fi-ca-tion. Do you notice that stress? My voice goes up. It’s louder and it’s clear when I say -ca. If I stressed every syllable equally, it would sound like this:i-den-ti-fi-cation. For example, I need your identification.
That doesn’t sound natural at all because it isn’t natural. We do not stress every syllable in a word. Let’s try another example. I’m going to listen to a record today in that sentence, I’m using the record as a noun, but this word could also be a verb and in that case, I need to change which syllable I stress. For example, I’m going to record some music today. Record the syllable.
Stress has changed and as a result, native speakers immediately recognize it as a verb. Several words in English can be both nouns and verbs, but we have to be careful about how we say them. We have to change which syllable we stress, and I’m going to share the most important ones with you in a moment. Now that you know what word stress is and why it’s important, it’s time to figure out which syllable should you stress in a word. And there are a few ways that you can do that and here’s where I’m going to give you a really helpful trick for those long scary words in English.
The tricks for Stressing long scary Words
The first thing that you can do is listen to native speakers carefully and see if you can hear which syllable is stressed in a word. The next thing that you can do is you could use a dictionary to help you as well. In a dictionary, you’ll always find the phonetic spelling of a word and there is an apostrophe before the stressed syllable.
So if we look at the word refrigerator, we can see that there’s an apostrophe just before fridge refrigerator. Now the truth is, you don’t always have time to look in a dictionary and sometimes even if you’relistening carefully, it’s hard to identify which syllable a native speaker stresses. So I’ve got three tricks to help you.
For most nouns and adjectives that, have two syllables, you will stress the first syllable. Let’s look at some examples. Climate, parent, knowledge, flippant, spacious, basic, object. If you noticed in each of those examples, I said the first syllable louder, longer, higher and clear, and a great way for you to practice is simply listening to me say those and immediately repeat what you hear. After you do that. Let’s move on.
We just talked about nouns and adjectives with two syllables, but now let’s talk about verbs with two syllables. Most of the time with verbs that have two syllables, you’re going to stress the second syllable. Let’s look at some examples. Become, embrace, reflect, forgive, adore, object. Did you notice that last one? An object is a noun, to object is a verb and we’ve switched which syllable gets stressed. An object, to object.
This is exactly like that example of record and a record that we talked about earlier, so let’s look at a few more examples of words that could be verbs or nouns and how we need to change the stress on an increase to increase, decrease to decrease, a refund to refund, an invite to invite, a project to project. Again, I want you to practice by listening to those and repeating what you hear. It’s a great way to develop that pattern and become more familiar, more comfortable with word stress.
The third and final rule today, which is how to identify which syllable to stress and long words like I’m going to say each of these words out loud and I want you to listen carefully to see if you notice any patterns with these words. Administration, exploitation,communication, interruption,accusation, intervention,abbreviation,extension incomprehension.
All right? What did you notice? Did you find a pattern of which syllable I said louder, longer, higher and clear? Do you notice that all of these words end with the sound -tion/-sion: incomprehension, administration, exploitation interruption? They all have the -tion/-sponsored and if you listen carefully, I’m stressing the syllable just before -tion/-soon.Listen carefully. Administration, interruption communication, exploitation in comprehension, stressing the right syllable, and those longer words will ensure that you’re communicating much more clearly and that you sound more natural in English.
Word Stress Test
Now I’m going to test you. I want you to choose the word from this list. Create a sentence, share your sentence with me in the comments below, but I want you to tell me which syllable in that word that you should stress. Now, if you found this post helpful to you, be sure to give it a thumbs up,
share it with friends, and be sure to subscribe to this blog so that you never miss a future confident English lesson.I’ve also got a playlist available for you with additional lessons on how to sound more natural and speak clearly in English. With that, thank you so much for joining me. Have a wonderful week and I’ll see you next time for your Confident English lesson.
Javier Marías – A Heart So White
One of Spain’s best writer today by drumroll please none other than Roberto bolaño my favorite authors Javier Matias is a very famous Spanish author and translator who published his first novel at 19. Javier’s father was a Spanish author and philosopher Julio Matias who was a student of Ortega y Gasset at one point his father was imprisoned for a little bit and then banned for teaching after opposing Franco Matias, who wrote a story called The life and death of Marcelino.
This was included in a collection of his stories called while the women are sleeping and he wrote on that particular story when he was 14. This is the first novel by him that I’ve read and I think it’s superb. I mean it’s marvelous it’s something to marvel at that just in its elegance and sophistication and its style it is really he’s just got Pedro almodóvar would have done a magnificent adaptation.I mean straight arrangements you know that whole tone of the skin I live in it would be.
A heart so white
Published in 1992 is about a man his wife his father and his father’s previous wives, it’s an elegant sophisticated Spanish philosophical of mystery.
A man is haunted by the actions of his father so not his past necessarily but his father’s past Javier Melia’s is a Spanish author and translate who was born in Madrid but also spent a little bit of time over here in this states. Vakious is an enviable astute writer the title a heart so white is referencing a line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth which I’m afraid I haven’t yet read I know my hands are of your colour but I shamed to wear a heart so white which was said by Lady Macbeth to make that after he has committed murder, his hands are red with blood the main character of the novel is a translator elect Matthias, he knows more than anyone that you can’t unhear something after it’s said you can’t forget something after it’s said and sometimes it may be better if nothing was said so how much should be really told shouldn’t we tell the truth if it’s just going to hurt somebody how much does it actually help to know the truth and since memory is fallible what is the truth really?
The book opens with a family gathering, I think it’s like lunch or something and this woman gets up from the table walks into the bathroom takes out a gun and shoots herself in the heart committing suicide the opening of the book is one of the most masterfully crafted introductions into a sombre expansive gorgeous meditation on life love marriage secrets impermanence death and the inescapable consequences of past actions, the woman who killed herself is the second wife of the narrator’s father Ron’s. A man with a shadowy past kind of a dandy works in the art world worked at one time for the Prado in Madrid, but yeah he has a shadowing past is kind of sketchy as we discover that she is actually the second of his wives to have died, his son the narrator the protagonists grew up thinking that she was the only one, the first it’s that classic question is it better to tell the truth or will that just do more harm so for better or worse semi intentionally yet also sort of unintentionally.
He embarks on a journey to learn more to discover what really happened along with his wife I just don’t want to tell you what happens of course you know because it just builds up to it magnificently you know it just builds and builds and builds and then it hits and it’s just you know he seems to just have it like in his blood this developed sense a narrative you know I don’t know what it is I don’t know if it’s like the past brilliant authors working through him or something you know I mean he seemed so well-read and also he has that quality of authors who are no longer around he has that intelligence and maturity of authors from the past ol older authors you know it’s like something that I never come across but I also don’t read a lot of modern authors so this again yeah do that but I’ve known he’s got like this is deep these deep roots some sort of where is just a genius maybe it was what it is money has frequently uses repetition to connect the thoughts ideas and situations in this man’s life it’s like something happens and then there’s this mental or philosophical kind of meandering or dig up the digression you know sort of gets lost in thought and some anecdotes are brought up and then we kind of come back to the narrative but then we go off again it’s like taking cigarette breaks in the middle of the novel to kind of like drifted the thought but you’re traveling along with her you know maybe that was probably actually occurring well he wrote this he smokes a lot I think he like didn’t go to a talk at Oxford because he he would have to step outside and smoke or something like that I mean I think he spent some time at Oxford so it’s not like a huge deal that’s sort of funny that he passed on it because he wanted to smoke when he wanted to smoke and where he wanted to I can respect that ambiguity is also a recurring theme the idea that no matter the choices made the result eventually is the same whether you do or don’t do something you know the fear of missing out just sort of inconsequential on a long enough timeline at the end of a life or history or time.
Everything is nullified what happens becomes equivalent to what didn’t I know he’s a fan of Thomas Bernhard and you can you can tell after reading passages like this one which I enjoyed a lot Thomas Barnard I’m gonna read something else by him he’s funny sometimes I have the feeling that nothing that happened is habitants because nothing happens without interruption nothing lasts orders or a ceaselessly remembered and even the most monotonous and routine of existences by its apparent repetitiveness gradually cancels itself out negates itself until nothing is anything and no one is anyone they were before and the week wheel of the world is pushed along by forgetful beings who hear and see and know what has not said never happens is unknowable and unverifiable what takes place is identical to what doesn’t take place what we dismiss are allowed to slip bias is identical to what we accept and sees what we experience identical to what we never try and yet we spend our lives in a process of choosing and rejecting and selecting and drawing a line to separate those identical things and make of our story in a unique story that we can remember and that can be told we pour all our intelligence and our feelings and our enthusiasm into the task of discriminating between things that will all be made equal if they haven’t already bitten and that’s why we’re so full of regrets and lost opportunities of confirmations and reaffirmation and opportunities grasped when the truth is that nothing is affirmed, and everything is constantly in the process of being lost or perhaps there never was anything the word nihilism seems so cheap and dusty to describe the stance taken by matthias because for all the sadness and tragedy and maybe cynicism and negativity or pessimism found within that passage somehow matthias never comes off as such you know as cynical or negative or not nihilistic somehow despite writing things such as that he communicates the fascinating mysterious profound beauty of life the possibilities but also the guarantee of the inevitable collapse of everything but it’s more of a beautiful drift into an immense unknown that has suggested that’s much of what life seems like in his novels this beautiful drift into an immense unknown memory is fallible but fiction is definitive
He’s great he reminds me of he has a little bit of the demeanor of Jorge Mele bar-kays but regarding fiction you know it’s funny because you’re saying something you’re writing something that didn’t happen but definitively and that’s the way it is unquestionably because he wrote it that way that’s how it was written whereas in real life sure you could say something happened a certain way but are we really certain that’s how it happened now because everybody can refute it you know everybody can challenge that you know that’s not how it happened.
Nadia says one of the reasons we write and read novels and fiction in general is that it can’t be denied by anyone it’s interesting because you have that kind of like foundation when you write fiction you have this structure muddiness has never been married yet so much of the novel focuses on what happens when you’re married both positive and negative his ideas on the subject are fascinating I mean really for not having been married himself he’s very you know he’s very observant it’s eerily so you know Matias has never married but he often writes about the institution in his fiction usually as a crucible for his favorite conflicting themes our need to share confidences and the perils of saying too much that was from The New Yorker so much in the book is wrapped up in the idea of language of the Train ideas that can’t be ignored Mateus said I’ve never been interested in what some people called naturalism or some people call realism. I don’t worry very much about something that occasionally hasn’t been pointed out to me as a possible flaw, many of the narrators and characters speak in a very similar way even in dialogue. I’m not interested in using differentiated voices not even in dialogue it must be believable but that’s all I think on the contrary that it is a courtesy on the part of the author to give the reader something which is interesting and if possible intelligent I can’t bear very much the kind of dialogue you often find in many novels in which two non intelligent people are saying not intelligent things four pages on end.
So for an example of intelligent people saying intelligent things in hearts of white one of the greatest scenes in the book the scene the scene where I really realized I was reading a master is where the narrator mistranslates the words spoken by two politicians in front of the woman who has not yet his wife doing so intentionally to see how she’ll react so this is a set up you know he’s a high profile translator and so he’s at this event with these two politicians speaking to one another and I think they’re based off of I read it somewhere I think I’m not quite sure I think they’re based off of Margaret Thatcher and Felipe Gonzalez but I’m not I’m not certain but this woman comes in – well he’s an interpreter excuse me he’s and he’s interpreting so he’s saying he’s translating the words and speaking them aloud as they’re talking to one another so they can understand each other and this woman this translator comes in his future wife to verify that what he is saying is accurate to keep an eye on him you know if he if he messes up she’s supposed to say something she’s supposed to call him on it that’s her job so she’s sitting by him and he’s doing his job but he starts miss translating the dialogue that these two politicians are having to make it more interesting and he starts off kind of small at first but then he like ramps up and then he just like goes to town he starts just like putting these very interesting philosophical ideas in their conversation and but so they both think that they’re actually having this really profound dialogue you know and it’s it’s terrific it’s sort of an act of I mean it’s he’s kind of coming on to her right he is because she doesn’t stop it it’s an extremely romantic scene it’s also very funny.
I mean it’s just so brilliant scene suddenly what would be drive small talk takes on profound significance as he orchestrates this intelligent conversation between these two politicians though it’s his future wife’s job to immediately correct him she doesn’t and this risky intimate action begins their relationship everything ties together but it’s not as if he had it all planned out in the beginning on the contrary you can feel the sense of discovery for the narrator and you know for you the reader but it seems to have been that way for him as well when he was writing the novel you know he’s writing to find out what happens we’re piecing the mystery together along with the author discovering the patterns and connections in the mystery of life but just like the character as well as us.
I imagine the author is left with far more questions and answers because just as in life nothing is resolved it might be the call to prayer so I moved to a Muslim neighborhood Muslim and polish neighborhood so the bells you heard earlier are from a Catholic polish cathedral and that would be the call to prayer so I hear both I love my neighborhood better than food it’s a hell of a book so who should read it anyone who enjoys for Hezbollah no Juan Rulfo Faulkner and in finally Shakespeare who I have not read enough of pick this one up it’s astoundingly beautiful it’s one of my absolute favorite books of all time better than food if there’s anything I mean it’s better than everything I mean it is a magnificent book I absolutely loved it. If you enjoyed this please subscribe if you haven’t already .
I hope this made your day better take care and I’ll talk to you soon have a good day.
what is concord? Subject-Verb Agreement (Rules and Examples)
what is concord?
The word concord is derived from the Latin for agreement. ‘concord’ in everyday speech, it means ‘agreement or harmony between people or groups’
In grammar, concord refers to the way that a word has a form appropriate to the number or gender of the noun or pronoun it relates to. For example, in ‘She hates it’, there is concord between the singular form of the verb and the singular pronoun ‘she’.
Some linguists use the terms concord and agreement interchangeably, although traditionally, concord is used about the proper relationship between adjectives and the nouns they modify, while agreement refers to the proper relationship between verbs and their subjects or objects.
There are many grammatical challenges that confront ESL learners on the issue of Concord and various questions arise on how to conform to the rules of grammaticality. Which type of subject goes with which type of verb? Is it possible to have a plural subject go with a singular verb? How does a plural verb look like? Does a collective noun take a singular or plural verb? If two entities refer to one and the same person, do we use a singular or plural verb?
Subject-verb concord is when the subject of a sentence and the verb of a sentence agree i.e when they have the same number and person. Here, if the subject of the sentence is singular, the verb must also be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb must be plural as well.
Rules of Subject-Verb Agreement
1. A singular subject requires a singular verb. Look at these examples:
- The committee meets here every Thursday. (singular)
- The crowd is getting angry. (singular)
- The jury has finally reached a decision. (singular)
- He does this regularly. (singular)
- The girl loves to sing. (singular)
2. A plural subject requires a plural verb. Examine these examples:
- Basketballs roll across the floor.
- These clothes are too small for me.
- Dollar bills were scattered on the floor.
Meanwhile, some plural subjects call for singular verbs:
- Fifty dollars is too much to pay for that dress.
- Twenty seconds is all you get before I scream.
3. A compound singular subject takes plural verb as illustrated in the following sentences:
- Sugar and flour are needed for the recipe.
- Neither my dad nor my brothers know how to ski.
- Pepperoni and cheese are great on a pizza.
- Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional meal in Ireland. (popular usage)
- The creator and producer is arriving soon. (both refer to the same person)
4. Compound plural subjects take plural verb as illustrated in the sentences below:
- Dolphins and elephants are highly intelligent creatures.
- Eating, sleeping, and reading are enjoyable activities.
- Both men and women enjoy yoga.
- Chocolate and strawberry are my two favourite flavours of ice cream.
- Furniture and paper are two uses for wood.
- Roses, gardenias, and jonquils bloom in Beatrice’s garden.
However, there are unusual cases to some of these patterns when it comes to the subject-verb agreement. Let us study some of these exclusions:
When any of these words: with, along with, together with, as well as, in addition to, including, no less than, etc. joins a compound subject, the form of the verb is singular. That is, when we replace ‘and’ in Pattern 4 with any of the words listed above, the appropriate verb form is singular. See the following examples:
- The man with his wife is here.
- The boy together with his sister is attending the party.
- The husband, as well as his wife, was arrested.
- The goat in addition to the cow has disappeared.
- The goalkeeper no less than the defenders is to blame for the goal.
When a compound subject joined by ‘and’ gives the impression of a unit or when the two singular subjects refer to the same person or thing, we use the singular verb as we have in the following:
- Bread and butter is his favourite meal.
- His wife and greatest admirer gives him sound counsel.
- Paul’s friend and boss is very pleasant.
- The President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces has arrived.
- Rice and beans is good for lunch.
When we connect a compound subject (two or more singular subjects) with any of these words, or, either…or, neither…nor, not, but, not only, but also, we use the singular verb. Look at the following examples:
- John or Joe is going to the farm.
- Either John or Joe is to blame.
- Neither the boy nor the girl has a good report.
- Not the husband but the wife was given the award.
- Not only the teacher but also the student likes the beautiful building.
But when one of the subjects joined by any of the above items (the correlatives) differ in number; in other words, if one is singular and the other one is plural, the verb agrees in number with the nearer noun or subject. This is the principle of proximity. See the following examples:
- Neither the thieves nor their leader was arrested.
- Neither the leader nor the thieves were arrested.
- Not only the boy but his friends were present at the game.
A singular subject followed by a plural modifier requires a singular verb. Examples
- The reaction of the students was unexpected.
- The leader of the armed bandits is to be convicted today.
- A list of the successful applicants is out already.
Subject-Verb Agreement: collective nouns
We often use singular nouns that refer to groups of people (for example: team, government, committee) as if they were plural. This is because we often think of the group as people, doing things that people do (eating, wanting, feeling etc). In such cases, we use a plural verb. (We also then need to make sure that other words agree – they instead of it, who instead of which.)
- The new company is the result of a merger.
- An average family consists of four people.
- The committee, which was formed in 2012, is made up of four men and four women.
- The committee have asked for sandwiches for lunch. They have to leave early.
- My family, who do not see me often, have asked me home for Christmas.
- The team hope to win next time.
However, persistence is important in the use of the accompanying pronoun referents such as it or them.
Collective nouns followed by ‘of’ and a plural noun in such phrases as a collection of paintings, a pride of lions, a flock of sheep, etc. take a singular verb in Standard English. Examples include:
- A flock of lamb is in the garden.
- A collection of paintings is up for auction tomorrow.
- Do you know that a case of tools has gone missing from the hospital?
- A host of angelic voices sings regularly in the concert.
- A swarm of bees is difficult to control.
Similarly the phrase ‘one of’ plus a plural noun such as teachers, babies, children, carpenters, etc. takes a singular verb. Examples include:
- One of the instructors likes rice and beans.
- You can call him that one of the girls is here.
- One of the children does not like biscuits.
Indefinite pronouns such as each, every, everybody, anyone, nobody, no one, none, etc. take a singular verb.
- Somebody ate my sandwich!
- Everyone says she is beautiful inside and out.
- No one wants to hear about my health problems.
- Either choice has its advantages.
Auxiliary (or Helping) verbs are used together with a main verb to show the verb’s tense or to form a negative or question. The most common auxiliary verbs are have, be, and do.
- Does Sam write all his own reports?
- The secretaries haven’t written all the letters yet.
- Terry is writing an e-mail to a client at the moment.
Numerals or Plural Numbers
Plural numbers take a singular verb when we use them in a phrase to indicate a sum or a unit.
- Four years is the tenure of the president.
- Five million naira is a great deal of money to carry around.
- eight percent is good interest.
- Forty hours is the normal work week in Nigeria.
- Fifteen minutes is enough for a coffee break.
Conventional Plural Words
Some nouns which are plural in form but singular in meaning take a singular verb. Examples of such words include: news, measles, mumps, calculus, rickets, billiards, molasses, dizziness, semantics, trousers, scissors, etc.
Consider the following sentences in which we have such manifestations:
- No news is good news.
- Phonetics is an interesting subject.
- His whereabouts is a secret.
- Statistics is not my favorite subject.
- Mathematics is a technical subject.
A pronoun must agree in number, gender, and case with its antecedent. What this statement means is that:
- A pronoun replacing a noun must agree in number as the noun it replaces.
- A pronoun replacing a noun must be masculine if the noun is masculine; feminine if the noun is feminine and neuter if the noun is neuter.
- A subject pronoun replaces a subject noun while an objective pronoun replaces a noun in the objective case too.
Let us expatiate on the positions above with illustrative examples:
- The teacher told the girl to write her
- The judges delivered their judgment this morning.
- The man stood his ground even though he was wrong.
- The lady sang so well that the audience gave her a standing ovation.
- My father is so strict that we did not dare to disobey him.
- When an old woman speaks, we should listen to her.
- The economy is not so buoyant, it needs urgent attention.
- The boys arrived last night, they did not come with their
- John called the girl, he asked her to stay at home.
- The lady works in Lagos, she comes to Ondo every weekend.
Apart from drowning yourself in what is Concord, you also need to know that there must be no shifts at all in your grammatical constructions, especially when you are expressing a single idea.
In other words, what I am saying is that your sentences must be the same in person, number, voice, and tense; that is, there must be agreement or concord in your sentences in terms of person, number, voice, and tense.
Do not shift from one person to the other
Look at the following:
- *When you are confused, one doesn’t know what to do. (Incorrect)
- When you are confused, you don’t know what to do. (Correct)
- We love the harvest months because we have a lot to eat. (Correct)
- *They love the harvest months because we have a lot to eat. (Incorrect)
- *For one to pass that course, I must study diligently. (Incorrect)
- For me to pass that course, I must study diligently. (Correct)
Do not shift from one voice to another
See the following:
- *They praised the girl, but the boy was punished.
- *The course leader rushed into the classroom, looked around and was seated.
- *The driver was arrested but they released the passengers.
See correct way to render these sentences:
- They praised the girl but punished the boy. (Active voice)
- The course leader rushed into the classroom, looked around and sat. (Active voice)
- The driver was arrested but the passengers were released. (Passive voice)
Do not shift from one tense to another
See the following constructions:
- *He pressed the doorbell but there is no answer.
- *The man gave the girl some money, but she does not thank him.
The correct forms of these sentences are:
- He pressed the doorbell but there was no answer.
- The man gave the girl some money, but she did not thank him.
I hope you find this post on what is concord? enlightening. enjoy and share…
Music3 years ago
DOWNLOAD MP3: Ebenezer Obey – Ketekete
Music3 years ago
DOWNLOAD MP3: Ebenezer Obey – Aimasiko Mp3 Download Lyrics
Technology8 months ago
5 brilliant sales secrets that everyone knows about (but nobody uses)
Education3 years ago
Gospel Music: Baba Ara – Adaba Mimo Mp3 Download Lyrics Video
Education9 months ago
Interesting Benefits of Dogs
Music3 years ago
Download Mp3: Shola Allyson – Mimo Mp3 Download Lyrics Video
Technology8 months ago
How to choose a great brand name for online business
Education9 months ago
5 compelling and practical steps to success.