GMAT Verbal : Correcting Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Correcting Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The reason that sea turtles are much bigger than land tortoises and freshwater turtles is directly correlated with the vastness of their habitat, the ocean, and the fact that they travel such far distances.

Possible Answers:

is that they live in a large habitat, the ocean, and must travel far distances

is directly correlated with the vastness of their habitat, the ocean, and the fact that they travel such far distances

is that they live in a large habitat, the ocean, and traveling far distances

is from the distances they travel in their large habitat, the ocean

is directly correlated with the vastness of their habitat, the ocean, and the fact that they travel such far distances

Correct answer:

is that they live in a large habitat, the ocean, and must travel far distances

Explanation:

The correct answer is the only one that uses the correct subject-verb agreement and has correct grammar. For example, the "reason" cannot be "directly correlated" with something.

Example Question #2 : Correcting Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

During its early years, Ford Motor Company produced just a few cars with groups of two or three men working on each car, but within a decade the company would lead the world in the expansion and refinement of the assembly line concept, which made use of in-house part production and vertical integration.

Possible Answers:

but within a decade the company had led the world in the expansion and refinement of the assembly line concept, making use of in-house part production and vertical integration

but within a decade the company led the world in the expansion and refinement of the assembly line concept, which made use of in-house part production and vertical integration

but within a decade the company would lead the world in the expansion and refinement of the assembly line concept, which made use of in-house part production and vertical integration

but within a decade the company had led the world in the expansion and refinement of the assembly line concept, and was making use of in-house part production and vertical integration

but within a decade the company led the world in the expansion and refinement of the assembly line concept, and was making use of in-house part production and vertical integration

Correct answer:

but within a decade the company led the world in the expansion and refinement of the assembly line concept, which made use of in-house part production and vertical integration

Explanation:

The correct answer is the only one that uses the correct tense (simple past) to maintain the parallel structure of the sentence.

Example Question #1 : Correcting Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Knowledge of core concepts such as particle types, models of the atom, and chemical bonding is required for students to fully understand chemistry.

Possible Answers:

core concepts such as particle types, models of the atom, and chemical bonding is required

core concepts such as particle types, and models of the atom, and chemical bonding is required

core concepts—particle types, models of the atom, and chemical bonding—is required

core concepts such as particle types, models of the atom, and chemical bonding are required

core concept such as particle types, models of the atom, and chemical bonding is required

Correct answer:

core concepts such as particle types, models of the atom, and chemical bonding are required

Explanation:

The correct answer has the correct subject-verb agreement; the subject of the sentence is "concepts," not "bonding."

Example Question #4 : Correcting Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

A majority of the shareholders wants the company to pursue a more aggressive cost-reduction strategy because they fear that low-cost competition from Asia has the potential to put them out of business.

Possible Answers:

want the company to pursue a more aggressive cost-reduction strategy because they fear that low-cost competition from Asia has the potential to put them out of business

wants the company to pursue a more aggressive cost-reduction strategy because they fear that low-cost competition from Asia has the potential to put them out of business

want the company to pursue a more aggressive cost-reduction strategy because they fear that low-cost competition from Asia has the potential to put it out of business

wants the company to pursue a more aggressive cost-reduction strategy because it fears that low-cost competition from Asia has the potential to put the company out of business

fear that low-cost competition from Asia has the potential to put the company out of business and want the company to pursue a more aggressive cost-reduction strategy

Correct answer:

wants the company to pursue a more aggressive cost-reduction strategy because it fears that low-cost competition from Asia has the potential to put the company out of business

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence is singular (“majority”). The verbs and pronouns used throughout the sentence must agree in number with the subject (i.e., wants, it, the company).

Example Question #5 : Correcting Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

In such a dismal investment climate, neither of the long/short equity funds have greater than a 50% chance of outperforming their benchmark.

Possible Answers:

neither of the long/short equity funds have had a greater than 50% chance of outperforming their benchmarks

neither of the long/short equity funds have greater than a 50% chance of outperforming their benchmark

neither of the long/short equity funds have greater than a 50% chance of outperforming their benchmarks

neither of the long/short equity funds have had a greater than 50% chance of outperforming their benchmark

neither of the long/short equity funds has greater than a 50% chance of outperforming its benchmark

Correct answer:

neither of the long/short equity funds has greater than a 50% chance of outperforming its benchmark

Explanation:

Neither is a singular noun; the verb “has” must agree.

Example Question #6 : Correcting Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Rational creatures can made items that augmented the natural capacities of themselves and other beings in ways that transcend the limitations of naturally gave substantial forms.

Possible Answers:

Rational creatures can made items that augmented the natural capacities of themselves and other beings in ways that transcend the limitations of naturally gave substantial forms.

Rational creatures can make items that augment the natural capacities of themselves and other beings in ways that transcend the limitations of naturally given substantial forms.

Rational creatures can make items that augment the natural capacities of themselves and other beings in ways that transcending the limitations of naturally give substantial forms.

Rational creatures can makeing items that augmented the natural capacities of themselves and other beings in ways that transcends the limitations of naturally given substantial forms.

Rational creatures can makes items that augments the natural capacities of themselves and other beings in ways that transcends the limitations of naturally given substantial forms.

Correct answer:

Rational creatures can make items that augment the natural capacities of themselves and other beings in ways that transcend the limitations of naturally given substantial forms.

Explanation:

The correct answer is the only one in which all the verbs agree in number with their objects and in the present tense in line with the structure of the sentence.

Example Question #7 : Correcting Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The lions, each of which are a fine specimen, was raised entirely in captivity and never intended to be released into the wild.

Possible Answers:

each of which are a fine specimen, were raised

each fine specimens, was raised

each of which are a fine specimen, was raised

each of which is a fine specimen, were raised

each of which is a fine specimen, was being raised

Correct answer:

each of which is a fine specimen, were raised

Explanation:

Although the interrupting phrase uses the singular "each," the subject of the sentence is the plural "lions," making the singular verb form "was" incorrect. The verb must be changed to a plural verb form. Furthermore, within the interrupting phrase itself, the singular "each" calls for a singular verb in the phrase: "is." As the only answer choice which makes this change, "each of which is a fine specimen, were raised" is the correct answer.

Example Question #2 : Correcting Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Any attempt to summarize modern music is not only challenging but also misled, as there are an incredible range of styles and expression in today’s music.

Possible Answers:

but also misled, as there are an incredible range of styles

but also misled, with there being an incredible range of styles

but also misled, there being an incredible range of styles

but also misled, as there is an incredible range of styles

but also misled; there are an incredible range of styles

Correct answer:

but also misled, as there is an incredible range of styles

Explanation:

The subject is "range of styles," which is singular. Therefore, the verb should refer to a singular subject. The correct answer choice does this and also makes the most efficient use of language. 

Example Question #3 : Correcting Subject Verb Agreement Errors

John and Susan runs to the finish line as fast as possible.

Possible Answers:

running to the finish line

having run to the finish line

runs to the finish line

run to the finish line

are run

Correct answer:

run to the finish line

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence contains a verb error with "runs." "John and Susan," while both singular nouns, are together a plural, and need a plural verb form, instead of the singular "runs." "Run to the finish line" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #1 : Correcting Agreement Errors

The boy, among many friends, celebrate his birthday in lavish style.

Possible Answers:

is celebrated

having been celebrated

celebrate

is celibrant

celebrates

Correct answer:

celebrates

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence is singular, "the boy," and not the plural "many friends," meaning the verb needs to be singular as well. Additionally, the sentence must keep the same meaning, that they boy is doing the celebrating. "Celebrates" is the correct answer choice.

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