PSAT Writing : Identifying Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Identifying Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The variation between seasons are caused by the tilt of the planet; summer happens where sunlight is hitting the earth more directly. No error.

Possible Answers:

more directly

are caused

variation between

No error.

happens

Correct answer:

are caused

Explanation:

In this sentence, the plural verb “are” does not agree with its singular subject “variation.” The corrected sentence reads, "The variation between seasons is caused by the tilt of the planet; summer happens where sunlight is hitting the earth more directly."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The president of the college, along with other members of the board, make decisions regarding the college's finances, its mission, and its education policyNo error.

Possible Answers:

regarding

finances, mission, and education policy

make decisions

No error.

along with

Correct answer:

make decisions

Explanation:

The subject of this sentence is “the president,” which is singular. The other members of the board are just added information. The verb “make” should agree with a singular subject. The corrected sentence reads: "The president of the college, along with other members of the board, makes decisions regarding the college's finances, its mission, and its education policy."

Example Question #2 : Identifying Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Cooking is not often considered a fine art, but the creation of delicious meals that balance flavors require a real sense of artistryNo error.

Possible Answers:

sense of artistry

No error.

but the creation

is not often considered

require

Correct answer:

require

Explanation:

In this sentence, the verb “require” should agree in number with its subject “creation.” Here, it incorrectly agrees with “flavors.” The corrected sentence reads, "Cooking is not often considered a fine art, but the creation of delicious meals that balance flavors requires a real sense of artistry."

Example Question #4 : Identifying Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The ash trees that line the long driveway up to the mansion is diseased and likely to die soon. No error.

Possible Answers:

No error.

is diseased

up to 

soon

that 

Correct answer:

is diseased

Explanation:

This sentence has a problem with subject-verb agreement. The subject “trees” is plural, but the verb “is” is singular. The corrected sentence reads: "The ash trees that line the long driveway up to the mansion are diseased and likely to die soon."

Example Question #3 : Identifying Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The agencies collaborating on the investigation is preparing a joint statement to share their findings with the press. No error.

Possible Answers:

to

No error.

their findings

is preparing

collaborating on

Correct answer:

is preparing

Explanation:

In this sentence, the verb “is preparing” does not match its plural subject “agencies.” The corrected sentence reads, "The agencies collaborating on the investigation are preparing a joint statement to share their findings with the press."

Example Question #6 : Identifying Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Purple glitter and a mysterious odor often signifies the presence of Peruvian Sea Slugs, animals that are both rare and beautifulNo error.

Possible Answers:

No error.

often

signifies

both rare and beautiful

animals that are

Correct answer:

signifies

Explanation:

The verb “signifies” should match in number with the compound subject, “purple glitter and a mysterious odor.” For a plural subject, “signify” would be correct. The corrected sentence reads, "Purple glitter and a mysterious odor often signify the presence of Peruvian Sea Slugs, animals that are both rare and beautiful."

Example Question #7 : Identifying Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The glaring sun, the intense music, and the actor's solemn speech combines to form an overdramatic effectNo error.

Possible Answers:

the actor's

No error.

glaring

combines

an overdramatic effect

Correct answer:

combines

Explanation:

The subject of this sentence is compound and plural, but the verb agrees with a singular subject. The corrected sentence reads, "The glaring sun, the intense music, and the actor's solemn speech combine to form an overdramatic effect."

Example Question #8 : Identifying Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The accusation that the new neighbors stole my family's container gardens are a blatant lie. No error.

Possible Answers:

gardens are

No error.

stole

blatant

The accusation that 

Correct answer:

gardens are

Explanation:

In this sentence, the main verb "are" agrees with a plural subject. However, its subject is singular: "the accusation." The corrected sentence reads, "The accusation that the new neighbors stole my family's container gardens is a blatant lie."

Example Question #4 : Identifying Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The railroad between the towns of Greensburg and Rodbury were destroyed in the alien invasion last weekNo error.

Possible Answers:

No error.

Greensburg and Rodbury

last week

between

were destroyed

Correct answer:

were destroyed

Explanation:

The verb “were” agrees with a plural noun, but here its subject is the singular noun “railroad.” The corrected sentence reads, "The railroad between the towns of Greensburg and Rodbury was destroyed in the alien invasion last week."

Example Question #10 : Identifying Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The rich and the famous often eats in the fancy restaurants on Main Street. No error.

Possible Answers:

No error.

fancy restaurants

and the famous

often

eats

Correct answer:

eats

Explanation:

The subject “The rich and the famous” refers to many people, and should be treated as a plural subject. However, the verb “eats” agrees with a singular subject. The corrected sentence would read, "The rich and the famous often eat in the fancy restaurants on Main Street."

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