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Agreement as an algebra polynomial

Julie says that one of her strategies for learning Spanish is to envision the language as a system for which she is “relating lots of different elements.”

For her, agreement works as in the polynomial above, where X1 applies to all the elements in parenthesis whether they are nouns, verbs, or adjectives. She adds that in the same sentence there may be subsequent Xs (such as an X2) that may affect other elements.

Thinking of agreement as a polynomial facilitates identifying each element of the sentence and, subsequently, verifying whether the various elements agree with the subject of the sentence and with each other.

“[I] think of the system as a whole … then it becomes much more automatic for me.”



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