GMAT Verbal : Correcting Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #1301 : Gmat Verbal

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.

When does the restaurant closes after dinner?

Possible Answers:

will close

closes

close

closing

should close

Correct answer:

close

Explanation:

Becuase the subject, "restaurant," is singluar, the verb must be be singular as well. The verb and the subject in a sentence must always agree with each other.

Example Question #81 : 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.

 

After watching their home team hit the game-winning home run, the group of hometown fans were ecstatic.

Possible Answers:

the hometown fans in the group was ecstatic

the group of hometown fans was ecstatic

the group was ecstatic with hometown fans

the group of hometown fans became ecstatic

the group of hometown fans were ecstatic

Correct answer:

the group of hometown fans was ecstatic

Explanation:

The term "group" is a singular subject; therefore, the verb must be "was," as opposed to "were."

Example Question #22 : 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.

Due to the elliptical shape of celestial orbits, the distance between the sun and the planets vary over time.

Possible Answers:

the distance between the sun and the planets vary over time.

the distance between the sun with the planets vary over time.

the distance of the sun to the planets vary over time.

the distance between the sun and the planets varies over time.

the distance between the sun and the planets have varied over time.

Correct answer:

the distance between the sun and the planets varies over time.

Explanation:

The answer choice "the distance between the sun and the planets varies over time" is correct. It correctly uses a singular verb—"varies"—to match the singular subject, "distance."

All of the other answer choices are incorrect because they contain a subject-verb number agreement error. They use plural verb forms when they should use singular verb forms instead.

Example Question #31 : 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.

Due to the fact that newspapers and magazines focus on death, corruption, and other negative matters, the majority of the public believes that the media are pessimistic.

Possible Answers:

the majority of the public believes that the medias are pessimistic.

the majority of the public believe that the media can be pessimistic.

the majority of the public believes that the media are pessimistic.

the majority of the public believe that the media are pessimistic.

the majority of the public believes that the media is pessimistic.

Correct answer:

the majority of the public believes that the media are pessimistic.

Explanation:

No error. The subject “the majority” is singular, so the verb must be “believes.” "The media" is plural because it refers to various sources, so the verb should be “are.”

Example Question #23 : Correcting Subject Verb Agreement Errors

No one question the desire to succeed among most students in a competitive school environment.

Possible Answers:

No one questions

No questions

Nobody question

No one question

No question

Correct answer:

No one questions

Explanation:

The underlined part of the sentence contains a flaw in subject verb agreement. "No one" is properly used as a singular form. Therefore, "no one questions" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #23 : 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.

A hundred miles west of Scotland lie a multitude of interconnected lakes rich in mining exports. 

Possible Answers:

lie a multitude

there are a multitude

lies a multitude

are a multitude

there have been a multitude

Correct answer:

lies a multitude

Explanation:

Since "multitude" is a singular subject, its verb must be singular as well. The only answer choice that contains a singular verb is "lies"; the rest incorrectly contain plural verbs.

Example Question #31 : 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.

Though most people are unaware of it, there is over a hundred varieties of coffee which grow throughout the world.

Possible Answers:

there is over a hundred varieties of coffee which grow throughout the world.

there are over a hundred varieties of coffee which grow throughout the world.

there are over a hundred varieties of coffee that grow throughout the world.

there is over a hundred varieties of coffees that grow throughout the world.

there is over a hundred varieties of coffee that grow throughout the world.

Correct answer:

there are over a hundred varieties of coffee that grow throughout the world.

Explanation:

"There are” is correct because it indicates the existence of more than one thing (e.g., varieties). “Which” is incorrect because it does not follow a comma, nor does it refer to a complement/predicate. 

Example Question #81 : 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.

The members of the group was frequently at odds with their rivals over petty differences.

Possible Answers:

the group was frequently in odds

the group were frequently at odds

the group was at odds frequently

the group was frequently at odds

the group was frequent at odds

Correct answer:

the group were frequently at odds

Explanation:

The use of the singular verb "was" is incorrect with the plural subject "members." Even though the verb is next to the singular group, the verb needs to match the subject. Thus the correct answer choice is "the group were frequently at odds," which is the only choice with the appropriate verb tense.

Example Question #31 : 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 repeats the underlined portion as it is written.

Both Mark and his friend Josh is a type of person called introverts.

Possible Answers:

is a type

are a type

is a types

is one type

are a types

Correct answer:

are a type

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence, "Mark and his friend Josh," is plural. Therefore, the sentence must use a verb that agrees with a plural subject. So, "are" needs to be used instead of "is." In choosing between "are a type" and "are a types," the phrase "a types" is grammatically incorrect because "a" is an indefinite article used with singular nouns, and "types" is a plural noun. Plus, you can see that the sentence is discussing one type of person "called introverts"—there is no discussion provided of any other type of person, so using the plural "types" would not make sense in the sentence's context. So, "are a type" is the correct answer.

Example Question #32 : 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.

Despite positive reviews from movie critics, the quality of the young director’s recent films are rather questionable.

Possible Answers:

the quality of the young directors recent films is rather questionable.

the quality of the young Director’s recent films are rather questionable.

the quality of the young director’s recent films is rather questionable.

the quality of the young director’s recent films are rather questionable.

the quality of the young Director’s recent films is rather questionable.

Correct answer:

the quality of the young director’s recent films is rather questionable.

Explanation:

An apostrophe is necessary to show possession, but the word “director” doesn’t need to be capitalized unless it is the official title or nickname of the person. Since “the quality” is singular, the sentence must read, "Despite positive reviews from movie critics, the quality of the young director’s recent films is rather questionable."

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