Agreement errors include problems with subject-verb agreement, modals followed by a main verb and determiners. The subject and the verb in the same sentence should agree in person and number. Modals should be followed by a bare infinitive. In a noun phrase, the determiner should agree with the noun in number.

Subject-verb agreement

Wrong: *I studies; *she study.
Right: I study; she studies.
In examples 1-3, the third person singular subjects (i.e. “Hong Kong”, “smog”, “reclamation”) require third person singular verbs (i.e. “needs”, “lowers”, “makes”) rather than plural verbs.
  

 

WRONG
RIGHT

1.

From now on, Hong Kong need a better urban development to improve the living condition of its people.

From now on, Hong Kong needs a better urban development to improve the living condition of its people.

2.

The industrialization in China creates the smog. This smog flows into Hong Kong and lower the air quality of Hong Kong and causes serious air pollution.

The industrialization in China creates the smog. This smog flows into Hong Kong and affects the air quality of Hong Kong and causes serious air pollution.

3.

Reclamation make the Hong Kong harbour narrower and this causes the destruction of the natural shape of the harbour.

Reclamation makes the Hong Kong harbour narrower and this causes the destruction of the natural shape of the harbour.

 
 
In example 4, “spaces” is third person plural and “is” is third person singular.
 

 

WRONG
RIGHT

4.

As for the imperfect urban planning, there is not enough spaces for recreational use along our harbour
and the accessibility is relatively low.

As for the imperfect urban planning, there is not enough space for
recreational use along our harbour and the accessibility is relatively low.

 

In example 5, the singular verb (i.e. “is”) is wrongly coupled with a plural subject (i.e. “problems”).
 

 

WRONG
RIGHT

5.

Apart from pollution, poor urban planning is the other problems in Hong Kong.

Apart from pollution, poor urban planning is another problem in Hong Kong.

 

Modal +bare infinitive

Wrong: *She can comes.
Right: She can come.
In examples 6 and 7, the third person singular verb forms “makes”, “excavates” and “disposes” cannot be used because bare infinitives (i.e. “make”, “excavate” and “dispose”) should be used after modal verbs (i.e. “can” and “will”).

 

WRONG
RIGHT

6.

If the government can manage the islands it can makes Hong Kong citizens have a better quality of life.

If the government can manage the islands it can make Hong Kong citizens have a better quality of life.

7.

Dredging will excavates the bottom sediments and disposes them into different locations.

Dredging will excavate the bottom sediments and dispose them into different locations.

 

Determiner/pronoun

Wrong: *These is my favorite dish.
Right: This is my favorite dish.

WRONG
RIGHT

8.

Air pollution and sound pollution will disturb the beautiful view of the harbor. These pollutions will make the air pollution index get higher and higher. 

Air pollution and sound pollution will disturb the beautiful view of the harbor. The pollution will make the air pollution index get higher and higher.

9.

What the government should do is to protect those heritage.

What the government should do is to protect the heritage.

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