ACT English : Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

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Example Questions

Example Question #81 : Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Choose the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence. If the underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

Each of the answers he provided were so effortlessly articulated that it seemed scripted.

Possible Answers:

Each of the answer the contestant was providing were so effortlessly articulated that it seemed scripted.

Each of the answer the contestant provided was so effortlessly articulated that it seemed scripted.

NO CHANGE

Each of the answers the contestant provided was so effortlessly articulated that it seemed scripted.

Each answers the contestant provided were so effortlessly articulated that it seemed scripted.

Correct answer:

Each of the answers the contestant provided was so effortlessly articulated that it seemed scripted.

Explanation:

The indefinite pronoun "each" functions as the subject of this sentence. "Each" is always singular; the subject's corresponding verb should also be singular. "Each of the answers...was..."

Example Question #81 : Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Choose the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence. If the underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

Each of the students on the winning teams were presented with a certificate and a personalized trophy.

Possible Answers:

Each certificate and a personalized trophy were presented to the students on the winning teams.

Each of the students on the winning teams were presented with a certificate and a personalized trophy.

NO CHANGE

Each of the winning teams' students was presented with a certificate and a personalized trophy.

Each student on the winning teams were presented with a certificate and a personalized trophy.

Correct answer:

Each of the winning teams' students was presented with a certificate and a personalized trophy.

Explanation:

The indefinite pronoun "each" is the subject of the sentence. The plural nouns in the prepositional phrases "of the students on the winning teams" can lead one to believe that the verb (in plural form) is correctly conjugated; however, the actual subject of the sentence is "Each," an indefinite pronoun that should be treated as singular.

Example Question #83 : Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Choose the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence. If the underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

The data show that excessive sleeplessness can lead to impaired judgment behind the wheel.

Possible Answers:

The data which show that excessive sleeplessness can lead to impaired judgment behind the wheel.

The data that shows excessive sleeplessness can lead to impaired judgment behind the wheel.

The data which show excessive sleeplessness can lead to impaired judgment behind the wheel.

NO CHANGE

The data which shows excessive sleeplessness can lead to impaired judgment behind the wheel.

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

The original sentence is correct as is. The noun "data" can be singular or plural; however, the correct answer choice will possess no errors resulting in incomplete sentences. Adding the relative pronouns which or that results in incomplete sentences.

Example Question #81 : Simple Subject Errors

Passage adapted from Robinson Crusoe (1719) by Daniel Defoe

I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull. He got a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his trade, lived afterwards at York, from whence he had married my mother, whose relations were named Robinson, a very good family in that country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but, by the usual corruption of words in England, we are now called - nay we call ourselves and write our name - Crusoe; and so my companions always called me.

I had two elder brothers, one of whom were lieutenant-colonel to an English regiment of foot in Flanders, formerly commanded by the famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed at the battle near Dunkirk against the Spaniards. What became of my second brother I never knew, any more than my father or mother knew what became of me.

 

Choose the answer that best corrects the bolded and underlined portion of the PASSAGE/SENTENCE. If the bolded and underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

was

is

are

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

was

Explanation:

The correct choice is "was." The sentence needs a past tense verb that agrees with the subject: one brother.

Example Question #85 : Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Passage adapted from Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) by Jules Verne

It would be rash to predict how Passepartout's lively nature would agree with Mr. Fogg. It was impossible to tell whether the new servant would turn out as absolutely methodical as his master required; experience alone could solve the question. Passepartout had been a sort of vagrant in his early years, and now yearned for repose; but so far he had failed to find it, though he had already served in ten English houses. But he could not take root in any of these; with chagrin, he founded his masters invariably whimsical and irregular, constantly running about the country, or on the look-out for adventure. His last master, young Lord Longferry, Member of Parliament, after passing his nights in the Haymarket taverns, was too often brought home in the morning on policemen's shoulders. Passepartout, desirous of respecting the gentleman whom he served, ventured a mild remonstrance on such conduct; which, being ill-received, he took his leave. Hearing that Mr. Phileas Fogg was looking for a servant, and that his life was one of unbroken regularity, that he neither travelled nor stayed from home overnight, he felt sure that this would be the place he was after. He presented himself, and was accepted, as has been seen.

Choose the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the passage. If the underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

finding

found

NO CHANGE

finded

find

Correct answer:

found

Explanation:

"Found" is the best answer because the past tense of "find" is needed. "Found" is the past tense of "find," "founded" refer to having started something.

Example Question #82 : Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Choose the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence. If the underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

Changes to the airline schedule is going to make it more difficult to find flights out of Baltimore.

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

is going to be more difficult

it will be more difficult

is making it more difficult

are going to make it more difficult

Correct answer:

are going to make it more difficult

Explanation:

The subject is "changes," not "schedule." "Changes" is plural so needs the plural "are" instead of the singular "is"

Example Question #87 : Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Choose the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence. If the underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

The leaves on the tree outside my window was changing from green to bright red.

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

it is changing from green to bright red.

are changing from green to bright red.

is changing from green to bright red.

they change from green to bright red

Correct answer:

are changing from green to bright red.

Explanation:

The subject is the plural "leaves" so they need the plural form "are."  "they change from green to bright red" is incorrect because the non-underlined portion does not have the proper punctuation to make this a grammatically correct sentence.

Example Question #83 : Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence. If the sentence is correct as is, select "NO CHANGE."

The few times I have helped a neighbor with yard work has given me the satisfaction of working outside and helping others.

Possible Answers:

have gave

has given to me

NO CHANGE

has been giving me

have given me

Correct answer:

have given me

Explanation:

The verb phrase must agree with the plural subject "times" so the verb phrase should be "have given." "Gave" does not follow the word "have." Ever.

Example Question #84 : Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence. If the sentence is correct as is, select "NO CHANGE."

The crowd are cheering loudly at the soccer match.

Possible Answers:

were cheering loudly

is cheering loudly

they are cheering loudly

it is cheering loudly

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

is cheering loudly

Explanation:

"Crowd" is a collective noun. Collective nouns are treated as a unit, so they take singular verbs (is). 

Example Question #85 : Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Choose the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence. If the underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

I am a connoisseur of Mexican food, but I have never visited there.

Possible Answers:

Mexico.

it.

them.

that.

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

Mexico.

Explanation:

Pronouns require specific nouns as antecedents.There is no noun in the sentence that can serve as a antecedent for "there" (Mexican is a adjective); therefore, none of the pronouns in the answer choices can be used to refer to Mexico.  "Them" is plural and there are no plural antecedents in the sentence.

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