ACT English : Compound Subject Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

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Example Questions

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Example Question #141 : 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."

Neither my parents nor their neighbors has any idea how the large tree came to be located, laying across the middle of their street.

Possible Answers:

has had

are having

NO CHANGE

has been having

have

Correct answer:

have

Explanation:

The two subjects separated by the coordinator "neither...nor" are both plural, thus the verb should be plural. "Are having" would change the time referent

Example Question #21 : Compound Subject Errors

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

Three horses and a cat is living in Mrs. Smith's barn.

Possible Answers:

living

are living

living are

NO CHANGE

living is

Correct answer:

are living

Explanation:

This sentence contains a compound subject. Although the word "cat" is singular, the compound subject of the sentence, "three horses and a cat," is plural. Therefore, the plural verb form "are living" should be used in order for the subject and verb to agree.

Example Question #23 : Compound Subject Errors

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

Lauren and I am not going to the party.

Possible Answers:

Lauren and me is not going to the party.

Lauren and I are not going to the party.

Me and Lauren are not going to the party.

Lauren and me are not going to the party.

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

Lauren and I are not going to the party.

Explanation:

Since "Lauren and I" is a plural subject, the verb has to be plural as well. Replace "Lauren and I" with "we," and the verb "are" might sound more natural than "am."

Example Question #143 : 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."

Bill and Tiffany's brother buys a round of appetizers for the table.

Possible Answers:

has bought

buying

buy

was buying

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

buy

Explanation:

This question asks you about subject-verb agreement. When the subject of a sentence is plural, the verb must also use a plural form in order to agree. In this case, the compound subject includes two people, "Bill" and "Tiffany's brother," so it is plural. Therefore, the plural form of the verb, "buy," should be used rather than the singular form, "buys."

Example Question #961 : Correcting Grammatical Errors

Second language acquisition has already been positively correlated to increased cognitive flexibility (1): what has yet to be investigated is the correlation between cultural literacy—as a potential result of second language acquisition—and the facilitation of social relationships on the individual and community levels, academic and career success, and personal cultural enrichment. Cultural literacy may be (2) viewed as a deepest sense of foreign language study, as it encompasses all facets of culture rather than just language. If these positive correlations are accurately established (3) , the United State's education system and (4) its lack of priority given to foreign language studies must be reevaluated. Vastly extending foreign language requirements would allow individuals not only the obvious benefit of communicating in more than one language, (5) but also from greater academic success in high school, college, and the workplace, as well as less multicultural tension in social and professional arenas. (6) As the global market continues to be vital to the economic prosperity of nations, and immigration trends change their cultural make-up, (7) both linguistic and cultural understanding and awareness is essential.

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

Possible Answers:

Because the global market will continue

As the global market is continuing

NO CHANGE

Since the global market is continuing

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

The word "continues" must be kept in the present tense in order to stay parallel with the verbs that follow.

Example Question #142 : 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."

Neither the lawyer nor his clients was ready to accept the settlement that was offered by the insurance company last month.

Possible Answers:

were

am

is

NO CHANGE

being

Correct answer:

were

Explanation:

The verb "was offered" and the time signal "last month" indicate that the sentence is in past tense.

Since the one part of the subject ("lawyer") is singular and one part ("clients") is plural, one should use the noun closest to the verb to determine subject-verb agreement.

Example Question #142 : 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."

According to the recent census conducted by researchers in 2010, only Panville and Saytown have a greater proportion of men to women.

Possible Answers:

Panville and Saytown had has

NO CHANGE

Panville and Saytown has had

Panville and Saytown has

Panville and Saytown having

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

The subject "Panville and Saytown" involves more than one city. Therefore, the subject is plural. Because of a plural subject, the verb must also be plural. "Have" is the plural form of the verb, and so "Panville and Saytown have" is the correct answer.

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