Concord simply means agreement between the subject of a sentence and its verb element.

  • I am happy to write you this letter.
  • One of my brother’s friends is here.
  • The people needs our help.

(i) indiscriminate use of capital Letters:

Capital letters should not be used indiscriminately with sentences except they are to begin proper nouns.

e.g. ‘our mother was Admitted into the hospital’ instead of ‘our mother was admitted into the hospital’.

You have note this because for every capital letter used wrongly, there is a loss of one-half mark.

(ii) Writing personal pronoun insmall letter:

Personal pronoun, I, should always be written in capital letter even if it occurs in the middle of a sentence.

e.g. he was there when i (I) came in.

(iii) Arbitrary use of comma:

The comma should not be used arbitrarily and it should not occur immediately after the verb as most students use it, e.g.

How, are you?

I receive, your telegram yesterday in which you, informed me, about your sister’s marriage.

(iv) Grammatical errors:

Though errors  of grammar are too numerous to mention here, let us see some of the examples of these errors.


e.g. My sister and brother goes (go) to the school everyday.

Everybody  were (was) happy


e.g. My reasons of(for) writing this letter.

I want to plead to (with) all of you.

They travel out on (for) some important reasons.


e.g. This is to inform you that I (will) not come to the wedding.

(vii) wrong plural formations and uncountable nouns:

e.g. (a) You that Mushin is full of dirts(dirt)

(b) We don’t have enough technical equipments(equipment) in our laboratory.

viii) Wrong Amalgamation or joining of two words:

Some words are supposed to be written separately but they are ignorantly joined together. Examples of such words are:

  • Infact For in fact
  • Inspite for in spite
  • Afterall for after all
  • Inasmuch for in as much
  • Ofcourse for of course
  • Attimes for at times
  • Atleast for at least
  • A lot for a lot.

(ix) wrong separation of words:

Some words are suippose to be written as one but they are ignorantly separated into two words. Examples of such words are:

  • Them selves for themselves
  • Ther by for thereby
  • More over for moreover
  • There fore for therefore
  • Never the less for nevertheless
  • In deed for indeed

(x) Arbitrary use and omission of the Apostrophe:

Apostrophe is often used carelessly by students when they want to indicate plural forms of nouns,

e.g. Many teacher’s are lazy nowadays instead of many teachers are lazy nowadays.

Other examples are : The Ibo’s demand high bride price on their daughters instead of The Ibos demand high bride price on their daughters.

Careless omission of the apostrophe where necessary also constituted errors.

e.g. My uncle friend for My uncle’s friend.

(xi) Use of Un-English Expression:

Many students make mistake of un-English expression mainly as a result of too close translation into English of their native language. The following are examples of such mistake:

I spent all the money on the head of our father in the hospital.

Come and see things with your eyes.

I wish to informant you that your recent telegram was received.

My sister has stomach upheaval.

We have no enough classroomstalkies of toilets and other facilities.

We ran away should in case the armed robbers came back.


Concord (also termed ‘agreement) can be defined as the relationship between grammatical units such that one of them displays a particular feature  (e.g. Plurality) that accords with a displayed(or semantically implicit) feature in the other. The most important type of concord in English is concord of 3rd person numbered between subject and verb.


  1. A singular subject requires a singular verb.

e.g. my daughter watches television after supper.(singular subject+ singular verb)

  1. A plural subject requires a plural verb.

e.g.  my daughters watch television after supper. ( plural subject+ plural verb)

  1. When the subject is realized by s noun phrase, the phrase counts as singular if its head is singular.

e.g. The change in male attitudes  is most obvious in industry.

            The changes in male attitudes  are most obvious in industry.

  1. Finite and non-finite clauses generally count as singular. E.g
  2. How you got there doesn’t concern me
  3. To treat them as hostages is a criminal.

iii.        Smoking cigarettes is dangerous to your health.

  1. Prepositional phrase and adverb functioning as subject, also count as singular.e.g. In the evenings is best for me slowly does it!
  2. Exceptions to the subject- verb rule 3: when there is a compound subject that expresses one idea.


The aim and objective of this meeting is to assess our performance.

Yam and egg is a popular dish among Nigerians.

  1. Collective nouns: A collective noun is seen strictly in the singular but many be followed by a singular or plural verb form  depending on whether the noun is conceived of a singular or plural.


The army was in power for a very long time in Nigeria.

The committee were divided sharply along ethnic lines.

The collective noun must be used with consistency to indicate it it is singular or plural.

  1. Some words that serve as subject usually take singular verb forms. Words such as each, one, either, neither, the indefinite pronouns that end in-body or –one.


Each of the students was made to sign an undertaking to be of good behavior.

Neither of the criminals volunteered any information.

Everybody is invited to my party.

  1. Other words like, few, many, several, etc. take plural verbs.


Few can afford a decent meal.

Several of the rioters got injured.

Many of our students fend for themselves.


In the following sentences, supply the appropriate forms of the verbs.

Danladi (be) twenty-five years old next may.

The language they speak (hurt)  my ears.

The shops (raise) their prices many times in the last few months.

By the time the policemen arrived, the criminal (escape).

Nina (learn) to swim in 1977.


A dictionary is a reference book containing words usually alphabetically arranged along with information about their forms, pronunciations, functions, origins, meaning and syntactic and idiomatic uses. Any language, subjects or activity is capable of having its own dictionary with all the aforementioned properties.

The dictionary is particularly helpful in a second language situation where people face problems with the pronunciation of some words especially where certain sounds of the words are  absent in the mother tongue. The dictionary provides an opportunity for such language users to learn to enunciate the sounds properly.

Apart from providing meaning of unfamiliar words of a language, a dictionary also assists in the area of spelling and word usage. A dictionary also list all the phonetic symbols  of the language including the stress pattern. This assists to standardize usage of the language.


Write out the English alphabet and write out two new words with meaning making reverence to any dictionary.



Argumentative essay comes mainly in form of debate. It requires you to argue a point of view and persuades your examiner to accept your point of view. In argumentative essay, there are usually two sides  and you are requested to take one side.


  1. Content:

This is usually a debate in which you are required to argue for or against a proposition. Before putting pen to paper, look very carefully for the operative term in every proposition and establish your understanding of the term as a basis for your argument. The operative term is the key word or words in a proposition. For instance, the operative term in the proposition: ‘Life in the rural area is more rewarding than life in the urban area’. The key word here is ‘rewarding’. Such topic like: ‘Female children are more beneficial to their parents than the male children’ may look deceptively simple. The key words there are ‘beneficial ‘and ‘ parents”. You are not expected to argue that female children or male children are more beneficial to the nations but to their parents. So you have to be careful and interpret your questions very well.

At least three arguments adequately developed for or against a proportion are enough for a good mark.

Maintain the stand you affirm at the beginning of the essay to the end; keep consistently to one side of the argument from the beginning to the end of the essay.

Draw out your points carefully and present them convincingly.

You are free to imagine and think of the possible arguments that your opponent might put up and you can refute such arguments to earn a good mark.

  1. Organization

Most argumentative essays require the presence of an audience. Therefore, you should imagine that you have an audience listening to your arguments. You are permitted to refer to this audience from time to time in your essay but this should not be overdone. Having said this, it is compulsory for you to start your debate with the usual vocative: ‘Chairman, Panel of Judges, Ladies and Gentlemen……………’ (note the use of capital letters at the beginning of each  word in the vocative). Your audience believeson the topic you are asked to write on.

There must be an introductive paragraph where you are expected to state your point of view or position on the topic you are asked to write on.

In the body of essay, you are expected to support your views with arguments, illustrations and good quotation of some relevant statements made by knowledgeable people in the past which, of course, must be relevant to the topic under discussion.

In the concluding paragraph, you are expected to re-affirm your position or point of view and state categorically that your stand is better than that of your opponent.

Good paragraphing, coherence through the use of linking phrases and a logical sequence of ideas will be highly rewarded.

iii.        Expression

Argumentative essay demand a good command of language. Use simple sentences because it is important that you should make your audience follow your line of thought.

Make use of various oratorical techniques like reference to your audience from time to time and rhetorical questions can be asked in the body of the essay.(Rhetorical questions are the questions asked in  order to carry your audience along with you).

There is no room for slangs, as your language must carry conviction.

You can make use of exaggeration for emphasis but it must not be overdone.


Argumentative Essay Model:

The Political Science Students Association in  one of the higher institutions of learning has invited your school to participate in a debate on the topic: Civil Rule is Preferable to Military Rule. Write out your speech for or against the motion.

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