PSAT Writing : Correcting Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

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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 knows where the paintings

No one knew where the paintings

No body 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 is one of the chief ways

Making up, stories are one of the chief ways

Making up stories are one of the chief ways

Making up stories are one of the chief way's

Making up stories are one chief way

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 #131 : 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.

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, contribute 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

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 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

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 #44 : 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.

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

Possible Answers:

all lament

all laments

each lament

laments

all lamenting

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 #45 : 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

Each of the children is

Each of the children are

Children are

Children is

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.

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