SAT Writing : Correcting Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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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 #3 : Correcting Subject Verb Agreement Errors

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

Possible Answers:

is celibrant

having been celebrated

celebrate

is celebrated

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.

Example Question #34 : Simple Subject Errors

Autocratic styles of leadership frequently annoys the people who must work under such leaders.

Possible Answers:

frequent annoy

frequented annoying

frequently annoys

frequently annoy

frequent annoys

Correct answer:

frequently annoy

Explanation:

The verb "annoy" is used with the subject "styles," although the prepositional phrase "of leadership" and the adverb "frequently" come between the two words. Therefore, the verb form must take a singular form to match the subject. "Frequently annoy" is the correct answer form.

Example Question #35 : Simple Subject Errors

Every one of the new coaches face serious troubles with their teams.

Possible Answers:

the new coach face

the new coaches face

the new coach faces

the new coaches faces

new coaches face

Correct answer:

the new coaches faces

Explanation:

The verb in the sentence, written in the underlined portion as "face," must actually be in the singular form "faces." The subject of the sentence is "every," which is actually a singular form, even though the verb sits next to "new coaches." "The new coaches faces" is the correct answer.

Example Question #771 : Improving Sentences

One of the boys are coming over to help build the model car.

Possible Answers:

One of the boys are came over

One of the boys are coming over

One of the boys is coming over

One of the boys is came over

One boy comes over

Correct answer:

One of the boys is coming over

Explanation:

The problem with the sentence is that the verb "are" is a plural form, but is matched with "One," a singular noun, even though "boys" is the closest word to the verb in the sentence. The correct answer is "One of the boys is coming over."

Example Question #36 : Simple Subject Errors

There is no players in the league who would be comfortable in such a situation.

Possible Answers:

There is not players

There is no players

They're no players

There's no players

There are no players

Correct answer:

There are no players

Explanation:

The underlined phrase has an incorrect use of the verb "is," as the subject, "players," is a plural form. The verb needs to be similarly plural. "There are no players" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #5 : Correcting Subject Verb Agreement Errors

The youngest girl among the students have dark hair.

Possible Answers:

have dark hair.

has dark hair.

have dark hairs.

have darker hair.

has darkest hairs.

Correct answer:

has dark hair.

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence is "youngest girl," a singular noun. Although the verb is next to the plural "students," a plural, the verb form must be a singular verb. Additionally, a superlative need a comparison to be used appropriately, making "has dark hair" the correct answer choice.

Example Question #14 : Correcting Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Every night for five straight nights were well below freezing.

Possible Answers:

Every night for five straight nights were well below freezing.

Every night for five straight nights was well below freezing.

Each of the nights for five straight nights were well below freezing.

Every night for five nights straight were well below freezing.

Each night for five straight nights were well below freezing.

Correct answer:

Every night for five straight nights was well below freezing.

Explanation:

The issue with the sentence as it is written is that the subject of the sentence, "every night," is singular, but the verb "were" is plural. The subject and the verb must agree. The correct answer is "Every night for five straight nights was well below freezing."

Example Question #1 : Correcting Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Lisa, Aaron, and Jason is coming over later than everyone else.

Possible Answers:

Lisa, Aaron, and Jason is to come

Lisa, Aaron, and Jason are coming

Lisa, Aaron, and Jason coming

Lisa, Aaron, and Jason have come

Lisa, Aaron,, and Jason is coming

Correct answer:

Lisa, Aaron, and Jason are coming

Explanation:

The use of the singular verb "is" does not match with the plural subjects of the sentence. The subject and verb must always be in agreement. The correct answer is "Lisa, Aaron, and Jason are coming."

Example Question #12 : 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 new bylaws of the organization was ratified by a unanimous vote yesterday.

Possible Answers:

The new bylaws from the organization was 

The newer bylaws of the organization was 

The new bylaws of the organization were 

The new bylaws for the organization was 

The new bylaws of the organization was 

Correct answer:

The new bylaws of the organization were 

Explanation:

While the singular verb "was" is next to the singular noun "organization," the subject of the sentence is the plural noun "bylaws." This means that the verb "was" needs to be changed to a plural form; therefore, "The new bylaws of the organization were" is the correct answer choice.

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