PSAT Writing : Identifying Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #61 : 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.

He wanted to lay down and take a nice nap, but there were work to be done. No error

Possible Answers:

and take

but

No error

were

wanted to 

Correct answer:

were

Explanation:

The verb “were” should match its subject “work.” The corrected sentence reads, "He wanted to lay down and take a nice nap, but there was work to be done."

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.

My three cars, which are blue, is faster than those of my friend Bob. No error

Possible Answers:

is

which

are

those of

No error

Correct answer:

is

Explanation:

The subject "cars" is plural, so you must use "are" and not "is."

Example Question #52 : 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 stalemate between the Democrats and Republicans in Washington D.C. have caused many Americans to become disillusioned with their federal government. No error

Possible Answers:

caused

their

between

have

No error

Correct answer:

have

Explanation:

While "Democrats and Republicans" would agree with the verb "have," the actual subject of the sentence is "stalemate," a singular noun, which does not agree with the verb "have" in number. Because the subject "stalemate" is singular, the verb must be singular as well. So, "have" should be changed to "has."

Example Question #53 : Identifying 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.

When it comes to me working out, I prefer to do so in the morning, when the gym is busierNo error

Possible Answers:

Me

busier

do so

prefer

No error

Correct answer:

Me

Explanation:

"Me" should be "my." The gerund, "working out" should have its subject in the possessive case. "Me" is in the objective case.

Example Question #54 : Identifying 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 tennis courts, which are made of clay and often wet after a bad storm, is my least favorite place to play sports. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

which

is

place

often wet

Correct answer:

is

Explanation:

This question separates the subject and verb with a complicated clause. Pay attention to whether the subject and verb agree. "Is" should be "are."

Example Question #55 : Identifying 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.

When Mary was cleaning her house, she discovered that hidden behind the bookshelf were a pile books. No error

Possible Answers:

discovered

were

was

hidden

No error

Correct answer:

were

Explanation:

This sentence puts the subject after the verb. "Pile" is singular and "were" should be "was."

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 committee reviewing the programs offered by the center  that the quality of the baking classes were generally subpar. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

were generally subpar

reviewing

decided that

offered

Correct answer:

were generally subpar

Explanation:

In "were generally subpar," the verb "were" is used with plural subjects, so it does not correlate with the singular subject of the sentence, "quality." This is a tricky question, as some students might think that "baking classes" is the subject; however, "baking classes" appears in a prepositional phrase, so "baking classes" cannot be the subject, and "quality" is in fact the subject of the sentence.

Example Question #61 : 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 quetzal, a tropical bird, is famous for its brightly colored feathers, which is bright shades of green and red. No error.

 

Possible Answers:

The quetzal, a tropical bird, is

green and red

which is

No error.

its

Correct answer:

which is

Explanation:

In this sentence, the plural noun "feathers" does not agree with the verb "is" that refers to it. So, instead of saying "which is," the sentence should say "which are" in order to be grammatically correct. So, the corrected sentence would read, "The quetzal, a tropical bird, is famous for its brightly colored feathers, which are bright shades of green and red."

Example Question #61 : 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 supply of oranges are limited this year because of freezing temperatures in California. No error

Possible Answers:

freezing temperatures

because of 

No error

are limited

this

Correct answer:

are limited

Explanation:

The verb "are" agrees with a plural noun, but here its subject is singular: "supply." The corrected sentence reads, "The supply of oranges is limited this year because of freezing temperatures in California."

Example Question #611 : Identifying Sentence 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 book of fairy tales are one of the grandfather's favorite books to read to his grandchildren before they fall asleep at night. No error

Possible Answers:

are

grandchildren

books

No error

asleep

Correct answer:

are

Explanation:

The subject, "the book of fairy tales" is singular, as the phrase refers to a single book. The fact that there are multiple "tales" within the book does not make the subject plural. The corresponding verb in this case should be "is," not "are."

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