Concord in the use of English language means agreement between the subject and the verb or agreement
between a verb and other elements of clause structure.
In the use of concord in English language, there are many rules governing the topic.
So let's analyse the rules one by one.
Subject and verb concord
When the subject in a sentence is singular, the verb should also be singular.
She (singular subject) goes (singular verb), not: She go ( plural verb). Also, when the subject is plural,
the verb should also be plural.
The girls (plural subject) go (plural verb), not The girls (plural subject) goes (Singular verb).
Subject and Object concord
When everybody, everyone etc. are used, the object must be singular not plural.
Everybody knows his or her name, not : Everybody knows their name.
Mandative subjunctive concord
When prayer, suggestion, wish, demand, recommendation or resolution is used in a sentence, the
verb that follows must be plural, whether the subject is singular or plural.
It has been suggested that he go not goes away.
2) The board has recommended that the manager resign not resigns.
3) I Pray that God help me on my upcoming examination not God
The Principle of proximity
This principle states that when there is a list of nouns or pronouns at the level of the subject, it is the
nearest noun or pronoun to the position of the verb that will determine the choice of the verb.
If James fails his examination, his teachers, his parents, his friends or John ( ) to be blame.
The correct option to fill that blank is,
is not are because at the subject level, we have his teachers, his
friends, his parents and John ( four different people)
In order to choose the correct verb, we will need to choose the nearest subject to the gap as the subject
which is John.
Note: what make us consider the only one noun or pronoun used in this sentence is because of the use of
or, but if the conjunction used is
and, all the nouns or pronouns used in the sentence will be considered
as the subject. I'll explain better when I get to the type of such concord.
Back to james.
But if the question comes in this manner, the answer will be different,
If James fails his examination, his teachers, his parents, his friends or I ( ) to be blame.
The correct answer here is,
am, because, I is the nearest subject to the gap, so if
I is the subject, the verb
that goes with it, is am.
Many - a concord
When many - a is used, the verb and the noun that follows must be
1) Many a candidate (not candidates) speaks ( not speak) bad English expressions.
2) Many a girl (not girls)
is (not are) here.
The real meaning of the statement 1 and 2 are many candidates and many girls.