Null Agreement Definition
Null agreement, also known as “notional agreement,” is a grammatical concept that refers to the agreement between a noun and a verb in a sentence. In traditional grammar, the agreement between a noun and a verb is based on the grammatical number of each. For instance, a singular noun requires a singular verb, while a plural noun needs a plural verb.
However, in some cases, a noun and verb may not agree with each other based on their grammatical number, but instead, they agree based on their meaning or notion. This type of agreement is known as null or notional agreement.
For example, in the sentence “The team is excited,” even though “team” is a collective noun and the verb “is” is singular, the sentence is grammatically correct because the notional agreement is being used. “Team” refers to a group of individuals working together, and the notion of a team is considered as a singular unit, which is why we use “is” instead of “are.”
Another example is the sentence “The committee has made a decision.” “Committee” is again a collective noun, and even though it is comprised of multiple individuals, we use “has” because we are referring to the collective decision made by the committee.
Null agreement is common in English, especially in informal writing and speech. However, it should be used with caution as it sometimes can lead to ambiguity and confusion. It is also important to note that null agreement is not a grammatical rule but a grammatical option in certain situations.
In conclusion, null agreement or notional agreement is a grammatical concept that refers to the agreement between a noun and a verb based on their meaning or notion rather than their grammatical number. It can be used to convey a more natural or informal tone in writing and speech but should be used with care to avoid ambiguity.