SAT Writing : Identifying Noun-Noun Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Identifying Noun Noun 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.

All four of Martha’s children became a varsity athlete in high school; she was incredibly proud of her family. No error

Possible Answers:

proud of

was

All four

a varsity athelete

No error

Correct answer:

a varsity athelete

Explanation:

Given that Martha has four children, the number of athletes should be plural. Therefore, “a varsity athlete” should be “varsity athletes."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Noun Noun 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.

Two out of four teenagers who become addicted to drugs will go on to become a high school dropout. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

out of 

will

who 

a high school dropout

Correct answer:

a high school dropout

Explanation:

Given that this sentence is talking about the fate of “two out of four teenagers,” multiple teenagers are being referred to. Therefore, “a high school dropout” should also be plural, and therefore read, “high school dropouts.”

Example Question #1 : Identifying Noun Noun 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.

All of my classmates wanted to become a singer when they grew up, except for me. No error

Possible Answers:

All of 

except

wanted to

No error

a singer

Correct answer:

a singer

Explanation:

There are multiple classmates described in the sentence. Therefore, there should also be multiple (or plural) singers. However, the word here is the singular, “singer,” which is incorrect.

Example Question #4 : Identifying Noun Noun 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.

I despise the chores that my mother asks me to do, but the act of pairing socks is by far the most tedious tasksNo error

Possible Answers:

is

tasks

No error

asks

but

Correct answer:

tasks

Explanation:

In the clause "the act of pairing socks is by far the most tedious tasks," "act" and "tasks" are referring to the same thing, so "task" must be singular like "act" is. "Tasks" is plural and is therefore incorrect.

Example Question #5 : Identifying Noun Noun 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.

Polydactyl cats can have seven toes on each feet, a fact that makes me wonder whether the extra digits make it easier for them to scratch things. No error

Possible Answers:

feet

that makes me wonder whether

No error

seven toes

easier

Correct answer:

feet

Explanation:

The sentence uses the phrase "seven toes on each feet," and this is incorrect because "each" is used to describe a singular noun, but "feet" is plural. Changing "feet" to "foot" corrects this error.

Example Question #1 : Identifying Noun Noun 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.

Bob and Frank won the prize for first and second place in the elementary school baking contestNo error

Possible Answers:

won

No error

the prize

elementary school baking contest

in

Correct answer:

the prize

Explanation:

This sentence refers to two prizes, first and second, for two people, Bob and Frank. The plural noun "prizes" should be used. The corrected sentence reads, "Bob and Frank won the prizes for first and second place in the elementary school baking contest."

Example Question #7 : Identifying Noun Noun 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.

Lewis and Clark, the now legendary explorers of the Louisiana Purchase, were chosen for their scientific knowledge and skills as a frontiersmanNo error

Possible Answers:

No error

skills as a frontiersman

legendary

their

were chosen

Correct answer:

skills as a frontiersman

Explanation:

This sentence has a discrepancy in number. Lewis and Clark are two different people, so they are two different frontiersmen. The corrected sentence reads: "Lewis and Clark, the now legendary explorers of the Louisiana Purchase, were chosen for their scientific knowledge and skills as frontiersmen."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Noun Noun 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.

All three of the pumpkins that Gerald entered into the contest became a top-ten winner; needless to say, he was thrilledNo error

Possible Answers:

that

was thrilled

a top-ten winner

No error

entered into

Correct answer:

a top-ten winner

Explanation:

In this sentence, there is a discrepancy in number. There are three pumpkins, so there should be multiple winners. The corrected sentence reads: "All three of the pumpkins that Gerald entered into the contest became top-ten winners; needless to say, he was thrilled."

Example Question #2 : Identifying Noun Noun 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 professor decided that all of his students should become a fan of his favorite violinist, so he lent them CDs so that they could listen to the music. No error

Possible Answers:

a fan

all of

they

so he

No error

Correct answer:

a fan

Explanation:

"Students" is plural, so the plural word "fans" should be used in the sentence. However, the word used in the sentence as it is written is the singular “fan,” which is incorrect. 

Example Question #2 : Identifying Noun Noun 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.

Jordan and Marvin’s mother has decided that they will become a lawyer when they grow up, but they seem more artistically inclinedNo error

Possible Answers:

they

up, but

artistically inclined

No error

a lawyer

Correct answer:

a lawyer

Explanation:

This sentence's error is a discrepancy in number. Two children are mentioned, "Jordan and Marvin," so logically, they would grow up to become two different lawyers. The sentence uses the singular noun "a lawyer" where it should use the plural noun "lawyers," so "lawyer" is the correct answer.

The corrected sentence reads, "Jordan and Marvin’s mother has decided that they will become lawyers when they grow up, but they seem more artistically inclined."

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