Adaje, A. Ochigbo, Alagbe, A. Adewole


Concord, also termed Agreement in English grammar, is an indispensable sentential element in daily language use. So its knowledge is instrumental to meaningful learned communication. A major type is subject-verb concord which has attracted detailed description in grammar and adequate focus in empirical studies on the usage problems of learners of English as a second language particularly at the tertiary school level in Nigeria. But other concord types have not had sufficient focus in such research works. The purpose of the study is to describe the other concord types using structural grammar approach and investigate the difficulties with their usage in the written productions of some science undergraduate students. The study subjects are two hundred and eighty-six students randomly drawn from among first-year students of an academic session in University of Agriculture, Makurdi. A research instrument, which has both essay- writing task and objective test, was administered to the students at the close of the session when they had had a use of English course, called Communication in English. Frequency and percentage statistical tools, in addition to extracts from the students’ works, are used to analyze the data. The findings show that the students construct sentences devoid of the following concord relationships: subject-complement, object-complement, distributive-number, pronoun-antecedent and concord of person. The identified linguistic incompetence adversely affects their communication in English. It is therefore recommended that the concord types studied here should be adequately taught and accompanied with sufficient practice exercises at the level of the English course for first-year university students so that they can gain mastery in the use of the items in communication.


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grammatical agreement, usage problems, second language learners

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