PSAT Writing : Identifying Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #40 : Identifying Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The physicality in the performance of each and every one of the dancers overwhelm the audience; nobody can describe what they have just witnessed. No error

Possible Answers:

overwhelm

of each and every one

audience; nobody

No error

they

Correct answer:

overwhelm

Explanation:

In this sentence, the verb “overwhelm” does not agree with the singular subject “the physicality.” The corrected sentence reads: "The physicality in the performance of each and every one of the dancers overwhelms the audience; nobody can describe what they have just witnessed."

Example Question #41 : Identifying Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The many facets of the problem leads to a variety of approaches that we could use to solve itNo error

Possible Answers:

that

No error

many

it

leads

Correct answer:

leads

Explanation:

In this sentence, the verb “leads” does not agree in number with the subject “facets.” The subject is plural, but the “leads” works with a singular subject. The corrected sentence reads: The many facets of the problem lead to a variety of approaches that we could use to solve it.

Example Question #52 : Identifying Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The unexpected donation, along with the other annual contributions, are among the reasons the opera remained open this season. No error

Possible Answers:

the reasons the

remained open

along with

contribution, are

No error

Correct answer:

contribution, are

Explanation:

Watch out for subject/verb agreement. Here the subject is "donation," which is singular, so the verb should be "is."

Example Question #53 : Identifying Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The list of items to buy for the parade were given to the treasurer to approveNo error

Possible Answers:

No error

of items

to buy

to approve

were given

Correct answer:

were given

Explanation:

Look for subject/verb agreement: here the subject is "list," not "items," so the correct verb would be "was."

Example Question #54 : Identifying Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The journalist is wrong: neither the President nor Congress were responsible for the unintended effects of the billNo error

Possible Answers:

effects

were responsible

of the bill

wrong: neither

No error

Correct answer:

were responsible

Explanation:

Watch for subject/verb agreement. Two singular nouns (President and Congress) connected by "or" require a singular verb—"was" instead of "were."

Example Question #55 : Identifying Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

In the end, neither Jane nor her friends were able to discover where the treasure was buriedNo error

Possible Answers:

where

was buried

were able

No error

neither Jane nor

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

There is no error. Subjects all agree with their verbs, particularly with the phrase "neither Jane nor her friends were able to discover"—a singular and plural verb connected by "or/nor" requires a plural verb.

Example Question #56 : Identifying Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The tantalizing aromas issuing from the restaurant’s kitchen is its best marketing technique. No error

Possible Answers:

its

issuing from

is

tantalizing

No error

Correct answer:

is

Explanation:

Here, the verb “is” does not agree with the plural subject “aromas.” The corrected sentence reads, "The tantalizing aromas issuing from the restaurant’s kitchen are its best marketing technique."

Example Question #51 : Identifying Subject Verb Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The days immediately following the treatment has always been the most difficult, but the discomfort will improve soon. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

difficult,

immediately following

but

has always been

Correct answer:

has always been

Explanation:

In this sentence the verb “has always been” does not agree in number with the plural subject “days.” The corrected sentence would read: The days immediately following the treatment have always been the most difficult, but the discomfort will improve soon.

Example Question #58 : Identifying Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The children of the lady who brought us a cake yesterday is coming over to play tomorrowNo error

Possible Answers:

is

tomorrow

children of

No error

who

Correct answer:

is

Explanation:

In this sentence, the verb does not match the plural subject. The corrected sentence reads, "The children of the lady who brought us a cake yesterday are coming over to play tomorrow."

Example Question #59 : Identifying Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

To the dismay of the audience, neither the prime minister nor any of his aides were able to attend the banquet. No error.

Possible Answers:

were

To

No error

neither

any

Correct answer:

were

Explanation:

The subject neither is singular, while the verb were is plural. Were should be was.

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