GMAT Verbal : Correcting Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Correcting Subject Verb 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.

One of the boys were always coming late to class, but it was always a different one each day.

Possible Answers:

One of the boys were always come late to class

One of the boys was always coming late to class

One of the boys were always came late to class

One of the boys were always coming late to class

One of the boys were always coming late for class

Correct answer:

One of the boys was always coming late to class

Explanation:

The use of "were" is incorrect in this sentence, as the subject is "one," a singular noun. Even though "were" is next to the word "boys," it needs to be a singular verb form. "One of the boys was always coming late to class" is the only answer choice that uses the correct verb form.

Example Question #11 : Correcting Subject Verb 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.

Every one of the kids like their new teacher, who arrived in the middle of the semester.

Possible Answers:

Every one of the kids liking their new teacher

Every one of the kids like there new teacher

Every one kids like their new teacher

Every one of the kids like their new teacher

Every one of the kids likes their new teacher

Correct answer:

Every one of the kids likes their new teacher

Explanation:

The verb used in the sentence, "like," is a plural form, but the subject of the sentence is actually a singular form, "Every one." A subject and verb must always be in agreement. "Every one of the kids likes their new teacher" is the only answer choice to have appropriate subject-verb agreement.

Example Question #11 : Correcting Subject Verb 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 leader of the football players make all decisions for the entire group.

Possible Answers:

the football players were making all decisions

the football players to make all decisions

the football players making all decisions

the football players make all decisions

the football players makes all decisions

Correct answer:

the football players makes all decisions

Explanation:

The use of the plural verb form "make" is incorrect in this sentence, as the subject, "The leader," is a singular noun. A subject and verb must always be in agreement, meaning the verb needs to be changed to a singular form. Only "the football players makes all decisions" uses the proper verb form, so it is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #12 : Correcting Subject Verb 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 first of the shows were much tamer than the shows that came later.

Possible Answers:

the shows was much tamer

the shows were more tamer

the show's were much tamer

the shows were much tamer

the shows were much tamest

Correct answer:

the shows was much tamer

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence is a singular noun, "first," but the sentence is written with a plural verb, "were." A subject and the verb that describes its action must always be in agreement, meaning this verb needs to be changed to a singular form. The only answer choice to use the correct verb form is "the shows was much tamer."

Example Question #11 : Correcting Subject Verb 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.

One of the boys were making trouble for everybody else.

Possible Answers:

the boys were making trouble

the boys were make trouble

the boys were made trouble

the boys was making trouble

the boys were making troubling

Correct answer:

the boys was making trouble

Explanation:

The verb in the sentence, "were," is a plural verb, but the subject of the sentence is "one," a singular noun. Any subject and verb must be in agreement, so the verb has to be changed to the singular form, because "one" is not underlined in the sentence. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "the boys was making trouble."

Example Question #641 : Correcting Word Usage 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The argument over the scandal and the authority of the governor have intensified greatly.

Possible Answers:

the authority of the governor have

the authority of the governor has

whether the governor has authority has

what the authority of the governor is has

the governor's authority have

Correct answer:

the authority of the governor has

Explanation:

Because the subject of the sentence is the singular noun argument, the verb have is conjugated incorrectly. The sentence also has a list which requires parallel phrasing. The only choice that corrects both problems is "the authority of the governor has".

Example Question #41 : Simple Subject 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

All of the pack is involved in any nighttime hunt, and every wolf shares in the benefits of the prey.

Possible Answers:

The pack are

All the pack is

All of the pack is

The pack all is

All of the pack are

Correct answer:

All of the pack are

Explanation:

The underlined portion has a very simple error, as "all" is a plural noun, and needs a plural form as the subject of the sentence. "The pack" is singular, but is not the subject of the sentence as it is written. The correct answer is "All of the pack are."

Example Question #51 : Simple Subject 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Everyone in the villages know that the boy was in trouble from the moment he came home.

Possible Answers:

knows which

know which

knows that

know that

know of that

Correct answer:

knows that

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence "Everyone" is a singular noun, but the verb "know" is plural. A subject and verb have to match in tense, so the verb needs to be in the singular form. The correct answer is "knows that."

Example Question #21 : Correcting Subject Verb Agreement Errors

The number of physics principles on tomorrow’s exam are too much for me to remember.

Possible Answers:

The number of physics principles on tomorrow’s exam are too much for me to remember.

The number of physics principles on tomorrow’s exam are much too much for me to remember.

The number of physics principles on tomorrows’ exam are too much for me to remember.

The number of physics principles on tomorrow’s exam is too much for me to remember.

The number of physics principles on tomorrow’s exam are too much of me to remember.

Correct answer:

The number of physics principles on tomorrow’s exam is too much for me to remember.

Explanation:

Here, there is a subject-verb agreement problem. The subject is “number”, which is singular. The verb “are” does not match up with “number” because it is plural. We need to say “number…is”.

Example Question #21 : Correcting Subject Verb 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Some of the soldiers is still missing years after the war is over.

Possible Answers:

Some soldiers miss

Some of the soldiers are still missing

Some of the soldiers is still missing

Some soldiers is still missing

Some of the soldier missing

Correct answer:

Some of the soldiers are still missing

Explanation:

The use of the phrase "Some of the" always indicates a plural, even when referring to small slice of a larger group. The verb tense for "is" then needs to be changed into a plural form. "Some of the soldiers are still missing," is the correct answer choice.

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