GMAT Verbal : Correcting Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #51 : 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.

A combination of trenchant social commentary and delightfully entertaining plot twists characterize the novels of Jane Austen.

Possible Answers:

the fact that she twists the plot in delightfully entertaining ways characterize the novels of Jane Austen. 

delightfully entertaining plot twists have characterized the novels of Jane Austen. 

the fact that she twists the plot in delightfully entertaining ways characterizes the novels of Jane Austen. 

delightfully entertaining plot twists characterizes the novels of Jane Austen. 

delightfully entertaining plot twists characterize the novels of Jane Austen. 

Correct answer:

delightfully entertaining plot twists characterizes the novels of Jane Austen. 

Explanation:

The subject of this sentence, "A combination," is singular, so the predicate should be singular, too. The original text "delightfully entertaining plot twists characterize the novels of Jane Austen" and the answer choice "delightfully entertaining plot twists have characterized the novels of Jane Austen" contain plural predicates and therefore lead to subject-verb agreement errors. 

The answer choice "the fact that she twists the plot in delightfully entertaining ways characterizes the novels of Jane Austen" leads to faulty parallelism and the use of an ambiguous pronoun, and the answer choice "the fact that she twists the plot in delightfully entertaining ways characterize the novels of Jane Austen" leads to errors in both parallelism and subject-verb agreement.

Only answer choice "delightfully entertaining plot twists characterizes the novels of Jane Austen" correctly preserves the parallel structure and avoids any subject-verb agreement errors.

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.

No one knows where the paintings were anymore, as all records of their location were lost over a century ago.

Possible Answers:

No one knows where the painting's

No one knew where the paintings

No body knows where the paintings

No one knows where the paintings

No one know where the paintings

Correct answer:

No one knew where the paintings

Explanation:

The use of the past tense verb "were" indicates that the main verb of the sentence, "knows," should also be in the past tense, as they should be in agreement. Thus, the verb "knows" needs to be changed to its past-tense form. "No one knew where the paintings" is the only answer choice that correctly does this.

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.

Making up stories are one of the chief ways a child learns to develop critical thinking skills.

Possible Answers:

Making up stories are one of the chief ways

Making up stories are one of the chief way's

Making up, stories are one of the chief ways

Making up stories are one chief way

Making up stories is one of the chief ways

Correct answer:

Making up stories is one of the chief ways

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence is actually the gerund phrase "Making up stories," which is a singular construction, despite the use of "stories." The verb, therefore, must match the singular subject, but is written in a plural form. "Making up stories is one of the chief ways" is the answer choice that best corrects this issue.

Example Question #11 : Compound 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.

Freud and other advocates of introspective psychology argue that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contribute to the overall health of an individual.

Possible Answers:

argues that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contributes to the overall health

argue that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contribute to the overall health

argue that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contribute for the overall health

argue that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contributes to the overall health

argues that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contribute to the overall health

Correct answer:

argue that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contributes to the overall health

Explanation:

The answer choice "argue that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contributes to the overall health" is correct. It contains the correct number agreement of the verb "contributes" with its subject, "a feeling of connectedness with other human beings."

The answer choices containing "contribute" instead of "contributes" are incorrect. The subject of "contribute" is singular, not plural.

Although the answer choice "argues that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contributes to the overall health" correctly contains "contributes," the verb "argues" introduces a number agreement error, as "argues" is singular but being used with a plural subject, "Freud and other advocates of introspective psychology."

Example Question #51 : 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 repeats the underlined portion as it is written.

Neither the line manager nor the quality control team were aware that there was a flaw in the car manufacturer’s airbag system that would prevent the airbag from deploying at speeds under fifteen miles per hour.

Possible Answers:

was aware that there was a flaw in the car manufacturer’s airbag system that would prevent the airbag from deploying at speeds under fifteen miles per hour

was aware that under fifteen miles per hour a flaw in the car manufacturer’s airbag system that will prevent the airbag from deploying

were aware that under fifteen miles per hour a flaw in the car manufacturer’s airbag system that will prevent the airbag from deploying

were aware that there was a flaw in the car manufacturer’s airbag system that would prevent the airbag from deploying at speeds under fifteen miles per hour

was aware that there was a flaw that would prevent the airbag from deploying at speeds under fifteen miles per hour in the car manufacturer’s airbag system

Correct answer:

was aware that there was a flaw in the car manufacturer’s airbag system that would prevent the airbag from deploying at speeds under fifteen miles per hour

Explanation:

Two singular subjects connected by "or," "either . . . or," or "neither . . . nor" require a singular verb.

Example Question #11 : Compound 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.

Tom, Dick, and Harry all laments the loss of a previous innocence they possessed as children.

Possible Answers:

all laments

all lament

all lamenting

laments

each lament

Correct answer:

all lament

Explanation:

The use of "all" is the key indicator of the correct answer in the sentence. While "Tom, Dick, and Harry" are singular as individuals, they are "all" together sharing their feeling as a plural group; therefore, "all lament" is the correct choice among the answers.

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.

 

Each of the children are playing with a different toy.

Possible Answers:

Each one of the children are

Children are

Each of the children is

Children is

Each of the children are

Correct answer:

Each of the children is

Explanation:

The underlined portion does not show proper subject-verb agreement. Although there are "children" playing, the sentence refers to "each," which is singular. "Each of the children is" is the correct answer.

Example Question #1331 : 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.

The manager will accepts your idea, or she will tells you why she does not think it will work.

Possible Answers:

The manager will accepts your idea, or she will tell you why she does not think it will work.

The manager will accept your idea, or she will tell you why she does not thinks it will work.

The manager will accept your idea, or she will tell you why she does not think it will work.

The manager will accept your idea, or she will tells you why she does not think it will work.

The manager will accepts your idea, or she will tells you why she does not thinks it will work.

Correct answer:

The manager will accept your idea, or she will tell you why she does not think it will work.

Explanation:

This sentence contains subject-verb agreement errors. The subject in each clause of the sentence, "she," is 3rd person singular. In the future tense, which is the tense of all clauses in this sentence, there is no -s ending. The correct answer choice is "The manager will accept your idea, or she will tell you why she does not think it will work."

Example Question #51 : 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.

The manufacturer is releases a new product this Fall.

Possible Answers:

The manufacturer is releasing a new product this Fall.

The manufacturer is releasings a new product this Fall.

The manufacturer is release a new product this Fall.

The manufacturer is released a new product this Fall.

The manufacturer is releases a new product this Fall.

Correct answer:

The manufacturer is releasing a new product this Fall.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a subject-verb agreement error. This sentence is in the present tense, and the subject, "the manufacturer" is in the 3rd person singular. The correct answer choice is "The manufacturer is releasing a new product this Fall."

Example Question #52 : 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.

He like to work with his hands, and he is renown for his craftsmanship.

Possible Answers:

He like to work with his hands, and he is renowning for his craftsmanship.

He likes to work with his hands, and he is renowned for his craftsmanship.

He likes to work with his hands, and he is renowns for his craftsmanship.

He likes to work with his hands, and he is renown for his craftsmanship.

He liking to work with his hands and he is renowned for his craftsmanship.

Correct answer:

He likes to work with his hands, and he is renowned for his craftsmanship.

Explanation:

This sentence contains two subject-verb agreement errors. This sentence is in the present tense and the subject of both clauses (he) is in the 3rd person singular. In the Present Simple (e.g. like), the third person singular takes an -s ending. The second verb (is renowned) is passive and must have the -ed ending in the present tense. The correct answer choice is "He likes to work with his hands, and he is renowned for his craftsmanship."

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