SAT Writing : Correcting Noun-Noun Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #2241 : Sat Writing

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 young girls at space camp all hoped to grow up to become an astronaut.

Possible Answers:

all hoped to grow up to become an astronaut.

all hoped to grow up to become a astronaut.

all hoped to grow up to become one astronaut.

all hoped to grow up to become astronauts. 

all hoped to grow up to become the astronaut.

Correct answer:

all hoped to grow up to become astronauts. 

Explanation:

In the sentence above, because the initial noun used is "girls" we know that we are dealing with a group of girls. Therefore, later in the sentence, the corresponding noun "astronaut" should be plural. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "all hoped to grow up to become astronauts."

Example Question #144 : 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 members of the jury could not make up its mind about the trial; the evidence presented to them had been extraordinarily complex.

Possible Answers:

couldn't make up it's mind about the trial

could not make up their minds about the trial

could not make up their mind about the trial

could not make up its mind about the trial

could not make up his or her mind about the trial

Correct answer:

could not make up their minds about the trial

Explanation:

In the sentence above, because the initial noun used is "members of the jury" we know that we are dealing with a group of people. Therefore, later in the sentence, the corresponding nouns "its mind" should be plural. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "could not make up their minds about the trial."

Example Question #21 : Correcting Noun Noun 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 interviewer was thrilled by the candidates' personality and professionalism: undoubtedly, that interviewee was the best person for the job, no doubt about it.  

Possible Answers:

the candidate's personality

the candidates personality

the candidates' personality

the candidates personalities

the candidates' personalities

Correct answer:

the candidate's personality

Explanation:

In the sentence above, because the initial noun used is "candidates'" is later referred to by a singular phrase "that interviewee."  Since there is no option to replace the singular noun, we know that the candidate in the inititial sentence is meant to be a singular candidate, and as it is written, it's a plural candidate.  The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "the candidate's personality."

Example Question #141 : 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 young men were eager to serve the general, and grateful to be the assistant to such a great man.

Possible Answers:

grateful to be the assistants to such a great man.

grateful to be assistant to such a great man.

grateful to be the assistant to such a great man.

greatful to be the assistant to such a great man.

grateful to be an assistant to such a great man.

Correct answer:

grateful to be the assistants to such a great man.

Explanation:

In the sentence above, because the initial noun used is "men" we know that we are dealing with a group of men. Later in the sentence, the corresponding noun "assistant" should be plural. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "grateful to be the assistants to such a great man."

Example Question #147 : 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.

All four of the basketball stars sustained serious injuries, and were not the player they could have been thereafter.

Possible Answers:

and were not the player they could have been thereafter.

and were not the player they could have been, thereafter.  

and was not the player he could have been thereafter.  

and were not the players they could have been thereafter.  

and was not the player they could have been thereafter.  

Correct answer:

and were not the players they could have been thereafter.  

Explanation:

In the sentence above, because the initial noun used is "stars" we know that we are dealing with a group of stars.  Therefore, later in the sentence, the corresponding noun "player" should be plural.  The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "and were not the players they could have been thereafter."

Example Question #21 : Correcting Noun Noun 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.

As soon as the children heard the sound of the whistle, they grabbed their basket and ran off to search for egg.

Possible Answers:

they grabbed their basket and ran on to search for egg

they grabbed their basket and ran off to search for egg

they ran off to search for egg and grabbed their basket

they grabbed their baskets and ran off to search for eggs

they grabbed their basket or ran off to search for egg

Correct answer:

they grabbed their baskets and ran off to search for eggs

Explanation:

Because the subject of the sentence ("children") is plural, it is presumed each child has their own basket and is looking for eggs. For this reason, the nouns "basket" and "egg" both need to be plural.

Example Question #149 : 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.

Paul really wanted to live up to his fathers legacy: he was set on becoming great knights.

Possible Answers:

he was set on becoming a great knights.

he was becoming great knights.

he was set on becoming the great knights.

 he was set on becoming great knights.

he was set on becoming a great knight.

Correct answer:

he was set on becoming a great knight.

Explanation:

In the sentence above, because the initial noun used is "Paul" we know that we are dealing with an individual. Therefore, later in the sentence, the corresponding noun "knights" should be singular. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "he was set on becoming a great knight."

Note that a colon is correctly used to join two independent clauses, where the second clause explains or clarifies the first.

Example Question #150 : 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 amateurs wouldn't grow up to become a great performer: they lacked discipline and faith.

Possible Answers:

The amateurs wouldn't grow up to become a great performer:

The amateurs wouldn't grow up to become great performers:

The amateurs wouldn't grow up to become a great performer,

The amateurs wouldn't grow up to become a great performer;

The amateur would grow up to become a great performer:

Correct answer:

The amateurs wouldn't grow up to become great performers:

Explanation:

In the sentence above, because the initial noun used is "amateurs" we know that we are dealing with a plural subject. Therefore, later in the sentence, the corresponding noun "performer" should be plural. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "The amateurs wouldn't grow up to become great performers:"

Several amateurs cannot become one great performer (at least with how technology stands at this juncture of history).

Example Question #151 : 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.

All four of Mariah's charges were an excellent student, each of them was more cunning than the last.

Possible Answers:

All four of Mariah's charges were an excellent student,

All four of Mariah's charges were excellent students,

All four of Mariahs charges were an excellent student,

All four of Mariahs' charges were an excellent student,

All four of Mariah's charges, were an excellent student,

Correct answer:

All four of Mariah's charges were excellent students,

Explanation:

In the sentence above, because the initial noun used is "charges" we know that we are dealing with a group of recruits. Therefore, later in the sentence, the corresponding noun "student" should be plural. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "All four of Mariah's charges were excellent students,"

"All" is a pretty good indicator that a plural pronoun will need to be used.

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