Adjectival agreement is a grammatical rule that governs how adjectives agree with the nouns they modify in terms of gender, number, and case. In many languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, and German, adjectives must agree with the nouns they describe, changing form according to the gender and number of the noun.
In most languages, adjectives can be either masculine or feminine, depending on the gender of the noun. They can also be singular or plural, depending on the number of the noun. In some languages, such as French and Italian, adjectives must also agree in case with the noun, taking different forms depending on whether the noun is the subject, object, or possessive.
In Spanish, for example, adjectives must agree in gender and number with the noun they modify. For masculine nouns, the ending of the adjective is typically -o, while for feminine nouns it is -a. For example, the adjective grande (meaning “big”) would be grande for a masculine, singular noun like libro (book), and grande for a feminine, singular noun like casa (house). If the noun is plural, the ending of the adjective changes to -os or -as, depending on the gender. For example, the adjective grande would become grandes for a plural, masculine noun like libros (books), and grandes for a plural, feminine noun like casas (houses).
In French and Italian, adjectives must also agree in case with the noun. For example, in French the adjective grand (meaning “big”) would be grand for a masculine, singular subject like le livre (the book), grande for a feminine, singular subject like la maison (the house), grands for a masculine, plural subject like les livres (the books), and grandes for a feminine, plural subject like les maisons (the houses). However, if the noun is an object or possessive, the ending of the adjective changes to reflect this, as in the phrases un livre grand (a big book) and mon livre grand (my big book).
Adjectival agreement is important for clear and accurate communication in many languages. By understanding this grammatical rule, writers can ensure that their adjectives are correctly matched to the nouns they describe, making their writing more precise, elegant, and effective. It is also important for copy editors to be familiar with adjectival agreement, as they can help writers to correct any errors and improve the quality of their writing.