SAT Writing : Correcting Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Correcting Pronoun Antecedent 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 rites of ancient Roman religion are nearly impossible to recreate centuries after it was no longer an active faith.

Possible Answers:

after the faith not being active.

after it was not an active faith.

after it was no longer an active faith.

after it was no longer active as a faith.

after the faith was no longer active.

Correct answer:

after the faith was no longer active.

Explanation:

The phrase as written in the underlined portion makes an odd reference. The subject of the sentence are the "rites," and not the religion. The faith needs to be specifically referenced, as well as being fully grammatically correct; therefore, "after the faith was no longer active" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #61 : 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.

Even though the army used every weapon at their disposal, the enemy was still able to make it into the base.

Possible Answers:

Even if the army used every weapon at their disposal

Even though the army used every weapon at its disposal

Even though the army used every weapons at their disposal

Even though the army uses every weapon at their disposal

Even though the army used every weapon at their disposal

Correct answer:

Even though the army used every weapon at its disposal

Explanation:

The plural possessive pronoun "their" does not agree with its singular subject, "the army." Even though "the army" represents a group of people, it is a singular noun, and should consequently be modified by the pronoun "its."

Example Question #62 : 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 of the workers were feeling tired and worn-down that day; none of them did their fair share of the work, and as a consequence, the project remained unfinished.

Possible Answers:

his or her

they're 

their

there

his

Correct answer:

his or her

Explanation:

The word being modified by the underlined portion of the sentence above is "none," which is a singular noun. Therefore, you must use a singular possessive to match up with that word. Because the gender of "none" is not specified, we must use "his or her."

Example Question #2172 : 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.

We finished all of our food an hour ago, I'm already hungry.

Possible Answers:

his

our

my

her

we're

Correct answer:

our

Explanation:

Here, it is clear from the sentence that the food in question belongs to the noun "we." "We" is a plural first-person pronoun. As such, you must use the plural first-person possessive pronoun in conjunction with it: "our."

Example Question #2173 : 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.

I loaned my car to some friends, Sal and Joe, and they did not take good care of their car; I'm frustrated that they so egregiously abused my property.

Possible Answers:

her

his

my

they're

their

Correct answer:

my

Explanation:

Here, because of the context of other parts of the sentence, we know that the car being referred to belongs to the "I" of the first sentence. Because that "I" is also the speaker, we know that the correct possessive pronoun to use in conjunction with the car is "my."

Example Question #2174 : 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 members of the company were concerned that their organization was losing their way.

Possible Answers:

no change

our

his or her

its

it's

Correct answer:

its

Explanation:

Here, the word being modified by the possessive pronoun in question is "organization." "Organization" is a singular noun that is also gender neutral. As such, the correct corresponding possessive pronoun is "its."

Example Question #2175 : 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.

The reporter was fired for creating fake quotations, though she insisted that it was from real interviews.

Possible Answers:

though she insisted that it was from a real interview

though they insisted it was from a real interview. 

though she insisted that they were from real interviews

though they insisted they were from real interviews

though she insisted that it was from real interviews

Correct answer:

though she insisted that they were from real interviews

Explanation:

The pronoun that refers to the "fake quotations" the reporter might have created must also be plural, since its referent is plural. Therefore, the correct pronoun is "they." "She" is the correct singular pronoun, as it refers to "the reporter."

Example Question #2176 : 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.

When you are walking along the beach, one should be careful to avoid stepping on jellyfish; even the dead ones can sometimes sting.

Possible Answers:

one

it

you

he

we

Correct answer:

you

Explanation:

Because "you" is the pronoun used in the first part of the sentence, "you" should be used again throughout the sentence. Any subject pronoun would work in these positions; the important thing is consistency and agreement. Whichever pronoun is chosen should be used both times. In this case, with "you" solidified as the first pronoun, "you" must also be used in the second position.

Example Question #71 : 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.

Many young saxophone players, including those who go on to play tenor or baritone, note that starting with the alto saxophone was the easiest way for him to learn.

Possible Answers:

noting that starting with the alto saxophone was the easiest way for him to learn

note that starting with the alto saxophone was the easiest way for them to learn

note that starting with the alto saxophone was the easiest for those to learn

note that starting with the alto saxophone was easiest ways for them to learn

note that starting with the alto saxophone was the easiest way for him to learn

Correct answer:

note that starting with the alto saxophone was the easiest way for them to learn

Explanation:

Pronouns must agree with the antecedent to which it refers. In this case, it is "many saxophone players," meaning the pronoun should be the third person plural "them" as opposed to the singular "him."

Example Question #11 : Correcting Pronoun Antecedent 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 reporter was nervous that the mob was after him because of his piece on city corruption.

Possible Answers:

him

her

the reporter

his

he

Correct answer:

him

Explanation:

In the sentence above, the pronoun "him" clearly refers to the reporter in the first part of the sentence. This is gramatically correct—in the second part of the sentence, the reporter is the object, therefore "him" is the appropriate pronoun. The sentence is correct as written.

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