GMAT Verbal : Correcting Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #33 : 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.

The treatment of animals in laboratories have become a controversial issue in recent years.

Possible Answers:

have become

had becoming

has become

having been becoming

have been becoming

Correct answer:

has become

Explanation:

The underlined words, the verb phrase "have become," must be in agreement with the subject of the sentence, which is "treatment." In the sentence, treatment is singular, even though it discusses "animals in laboratories." Thus, the singular verb form "has become" 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.

The oldest of the veterans hold a special place of honor in the group.

Possible Answers:

the veteran's hold a special place

the veterans holds a special place

the veterans hold a special place

the veterans hold the special place

the veterans holding a special place

Correct answer:

the veterans holds a special place

Explanation:

The verb "hold" is a plural verb, but the subject of the sentence is the singular "The oldest." The verb needs to be changed to a singular form to be in agreement with the subject. The only answer choice that uses the correct verb is "the veterans holds a special place."

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

Each of the teenagers have a brand new cellular phone.

Possible Answers:

Each teenager have

Each of the teenagers having

Each, of the teenagers, have

Each of the teenagers have

Each of the teenagers has

Correct answer:

Each of the teenagers has

Explanation:

The underlined section of the sentence has a problem with the verb "have." While the verb is situated next to the plural noun "teenagers," the subject of the sentence is the word "each," which is singular. Therefore, the verb needs to be a singular form, and "Each of the teenagers has" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #41 : 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.

The teenager, along with her classmates, object to the school's use of uniforms beginning next year.

Possible Answers:

The teenager along with her classmates object 

The teenager along with her classmates, objects

The teenager along with her classmates objects

The teenager, along with her classmates, objects 

The teenager, along with her classmates, object 

Correct answer:

The teenager, along with her classmates, objects 

Explanation:

The issue in the underlined portion of the sentence is that the sentence and verb are not in agreement. While the sentence references "classmates," that is in an interrupting phrase set off by commas, and the subject is the singular "teenager." "The teenager, along with her classmates, objects" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #42 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The most challenging thing for young musicians are to listen to the rest of the ensemble.

Possible Answers:

are to listen

are listening

is to listen

are listen

is having listened

Correct answer:

is to listen

Explanation:

The use of "are" is incorrect in the sentence, as it is a plural form and the subject of the sentence, "thing," is in the singular. The verb tense for "are" needs to be adjusted to the singular form; therefore, the correct answer is "is to listen."

Example Question #43 : 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.

That actor, who gained fame with his early comedic roles, have also given moving performances in dramatic films.

Possible Answers:

have also given moving performances

and also has given moving performances

has also given moving performances

but also gave moving performances

was also being known for moving performances

Correct answer:

has also given moving performances

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in subject-verb agreement. The subject of the sentence ("That actor") is singular, so change the plural verb "have" to "has."  Adding a conjunction ("and" or "but") in this case creates a sentence structure error. To avoid wordiness, stay away from answer choices that add additional "-ing" verbs.

Example Question #1321 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, were unsuccessful and have failed to achieve any of their annual goals.

Possible Answers:

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, was unsuccessful and has failed to achieve any of its annual goals.

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, were unsuccessful and has failed to achieve any of their annual goals.

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, was unsuccessful and have failed to achieve any of its annual goals.

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, were unsuccessful and have failed to achieve any of their annual goals.

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, were unsuccessful and have failed to achieve any of its annual goals.

Correct answer:

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, was unsuccessful and has failed to achieve any of its annual goals.

Explanation:

With a complex sentence such as this, it’s important to keep track of your subjects and verbs. Although “meteorologists” is plural, the subject of the sentence is the singular “convention,” and therefore the correct verb forms are “was” and “has failed,” not “were” and “have failed.” Similarly, the singular pronoun “its” is correct and the plural pronoun “their” is incorrect.

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.

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignore some qualified students while the inevitable cadre of underachievers slide under the radar.

Possible Answers:

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignores some qualified students while the small cadre of underachievers slided under the radar.

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignores some qualified students while the inevitable cadre of underachievers slide under the radar.

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignores some qualified students while the inevitable cadre of underachievers slides under the radar.

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignore some qualified students while the inevitable cadre of underachievers slides under the radar.

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignore some qualified students while the inevitable cadre of underachievers slide under the radar.

Correct answer:

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignores some qualified students while the inevitable cadre of underachievers slides under the radar.

Explanation:

There are two instances of subject-verb agreement in this sentence: the singular “admissions process” needs to be paired with the singular verb form “ignores,” and the singular “small cadre of underachievers” needs to be paired with the singular verb form “slides.”

Example Question #44 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Each of the seven gems in the Queen's crown were mined from each of the seven continents on Earth, making it representative of the Queen's desire for a worldwide empire. 

Possible Answers:

were mines from each of the seven continents on Earth

were mined from each of the seven continents on Earth

were mining from each of the seven continents on Earth

was mining from each of the seven continents on Earth

was mined from each of the seven continents on Earth

Correct answer:

was mined from each of the seven continents on Earth

Explanation:

Although there are seven gems, the subject of the sentence is "Each" of the gems, which is a singular noun. Therefore, the correct phrase uses the singular past verb form—"was mined from each of the seven continents on Earth."

Example Question #41 : 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.

"Only one of the teams are going to make it to regionals," said Coach Joe.

Possible Answers:

"One team is going to make it to regionals only," said Coach Joe.

"Only one of the teams are going to make it to regionals," said Coach Joe.

"Only one of the teams is going to make it to regionals," said Coach Joe.

"Only one of the teams are going to make it to regionals." Said Coach Joe. 

"Only one of the teams are to make it to regionals," said Coach Joe. 

Correct answer:

"Only one of the teams is going to make it to regionals," said Coach Joe.

Explanation:

The singular use of "is going to" is correct, not the plural use of "are going to." This is because the verb "is" is modifying the "one" team that is going to make it, not the plural "teams." The "of the teams" can be taken out to show that one should use "is", not "are": "Only one . . . is going to make it to regionals."

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