SAT Writing : Correcting Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #31 : 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.

Every single person has a right to be safe in their own home: this right is a crucial part of what makes our society worthwhile.

Possible Answers:

Every single person has a right to be safe in his or her own home: this right is a crucial part of what makes our society worthwhile.

Everyone has a right to be safe in there own home: this right is a crucial part of what makes our society worthwhile.

Everyone has a right to be safe in ones own home: this right is a crucial part of what makes our society worthwhile.

Everyone has a right to be safe in they're own home: this right is a crucial part of what makes our society worthwhile.

Every single person has a right to be safe in their own home: this right is a crucial part of what makes our society worthwhile.

Correct answer:

Every single person has a right to be safe in his or her own home: this right is a crucial part of what makes our society worthwhile.

Explanation:

There is an antecedent/pronoun agreement error in the sentence above. The antecedent "everyone" does not match up correctly with "their." The best way to correct the error is: "Everyone has a right to be safe in his or her own home: this right is a crucial part of what makes our society worthwhile."

Note that a colon correctly separates these two independent clauses, because the second clause here expands directly on the first.

Example Question #32 : 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.

No one should have to put up with constant abuse from their boss.

Possible Answers:

No one should have to put up with constant abuse from their boss.

No one should have to put up with constant abuse from there boss.

No one should have to put up with constant abuse from they're boss.

No one should have to put up with constant abuse from their boss.

No one should have to put up with constant abuse from his or her boss.

Correct answer:

No one should have to put up with constant abuse from his or her boss.

Explanation:

There is an antecedent/pronoun agreement error in the sentence above. The antecedent "no one" does not match up correctly with "their." The best way to correct the error is: "No one should have to put up with constant abuse from his or her boss."

Note that the subject of this sentence is "no one," which is singular.

Example Question #81 : 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.

Everyone has a right to be safe in their own home; the government is creating a new program to ensure this right.

Possible Answers:

Everyone has a right to be safe in his or her own home; the government is creating a new program to ensure this right.

Everyone has a right to be safe in their own home; the government is creating a new program to ensure that right.

Everyone has a right to be safe in their own home; the government is creating a new program to ensure this right.

Everyone has a right to be safe in their own home; the government is creating a new program to ensure those right.

Everyone has a right to be safe in their own home; the government is creating a new program to ensure these right.

Correct answer:

Everyone has a right to be safe in his or her own home; the government is creating a new program to ensure this right.

Explanation:

There is an antecedent/pronoun agreement error in the sentence above. The antecedent "everyone" does not match up correctly with "their." "Everyone" individualizes the subject, and therefore a plural pronoun is incorrect. The best way to correct the error is, "Everyone has a right to be safe in his or her own home; the government is creating a new program to ensure this right."

Example Question #34 : 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.

Everyone has a lot of trouble with their taxes: the system should be simplified.

Possible Answers:

Everyone has a lot of trouble with his or her taxes: and the system should be simplified.

Everyone has a lot of trouble with their taxes; so the system should be simplified.

Everyone has a lot of trouble with his or her taxes: the system should be simplified.

Everyone has a lot of trouble with their taxes; and the system should be simplified.

Everyone has a lot of trouble with their taxes: the system should be simplified.

Correct answer:

Everyone has a lot of trouble with his or her taxes: the system should be simplified.

Explanation:

There is an antecedent/pronoun agreement error in the sentence above. The antecedent "everyone" does not match up correctly with "their," since "everyone" individualizes the subject a plural pronoun is incorrect. The best way to correct the error is, "Everyone has a lot of trouble with his or her taxes: the system should be simplified."

Example Question #31 : 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.

No one has the right to treat other people however he wants; it's important to treat others with respect as often as possible.

Possible Answers:

No one has the right to treat other people however he wants; it's important to treat others with respect as often as possible.

No one has the right to treat other people however she wants; it's important to treat others with respect as often as possible.

No one has the right to treat other people however they wants; it's important to treat others with respect as often as possible.

No one has the right to treat other people however him wants; its important to treat others with respect as often as possible.

No one has the right to treat other people however they want; it's important to treat others with respect as often as possible.

Correct answer:

No one has the right to treat other people however they want; it's important to treat others with respect as often as possible.

Explanation:

There is an antecedent/pronoun agreement error in the sentence above. The antecedent "no one" does not match up correctly with "he." No one can be treated as a plural or a singular pronoun, in this case it should be treated as plural since the sentence is making a general statement. The best way to correct the error is, "No one has the right to treat other people however they want; it's important to treat others with respect as often as possible."

Example Question #36 : 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.

No one should be criticized on the basis of their sexual preference; it's just wrong.

Possible Answers:

No one should be criticized on the basis of their sexual preference; it's just wrong.

No one should be criticized on the basis of his or her sexual preference; its just wrong.

No one should be criticized on the basis of their sexual preference, it's just wrong.

No one should be criticized on the basis of their sexual preference; its just wrong.

No one should be criticized on the basis of his or her sexual preference; it's just wrong.

Correct answer:

No one should be criticized on the basis of his or her sexual preference; it's just wrong.

Explanation:

There is an antecedent/pronoun agreement error in the sentence above. The antecedent "no one" does not match up correctly with "their." The use of "one" individualizes the subject, and thus the corresponding pronoun. The best way to correct the error is, "No one should be criticized on the basis of his or her sexual preference; it's just wrong."

 

Example Question #32 : 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.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that doesn't mean that any opinion is the absolute truth.

Possible Answers:

Everyone is entitled to their opinion; and that doesn't mean that any opinion is the absolute truth.

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion; but that doesn't mean that any opinion is the absolute truth.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that doesn't mean that any opinion is the absolute truth.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion; but that doesn't mean that any opinion is the absolute truth.

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but that doesn't mean that any opinion is the absolute truth.

Correct answer:

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but that doesn't mean that any opinion is the absolute truth.

Explanation:

There is an antecedent/pronoun agreement error in the sentence above. The antecedent "everyone" does not match up correctly with "their." The best way to correct the error is, "Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but that doesn't mean that any opinion is the absolute truth."

Example Question #38 : 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.

No one should have to spend their adulthood caring for their elderly parents; that's why we have care facilities.

Possible Answers:

No one should have to spend their adulthood caring for their elderly parents, that's why we have care facilities.

No one should have to spend his or her adulthood caring for their elderly parents; that's why we have care facilities.

No one should have to spend his or her adulthood caring for their elderly parents, that's why we have care facilities.

Noone should have to spend their adulthood caring for their elderly parents; that's why we have care facilities.

No one should have to spend their adulthood caring for their elderly parents; that's why we have care facilities.

Correct answer:

No one should have to spend his or her adulthood caring for their elderly parents; that's why we have care facilities.

Explanation:

There is an antecedent/pronoun agreement error in the sentence above. The antecedent "everyone" does not match up correctly with "their." The best way to correct the error is, "No one should have to spend his or her adulthood caring for their elderly parents; that's why we have care facilities."

Example Question #39 : Correcting Pronoun Antecedent Agreement Errors

There once was a shepherd boy whom sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. He was hot and exhausted fanning himself, rapidly in a feeble attempt to cool himself down. On top of that, he had never been so bored before. To amuse himself, he decided to play a joke. He put his hands around his mouth and yelled in a loud voice, "Wolf! Wolf! A wolf is chasing the sheep!”

They came running. They asked the boy, “What’s going on? Did you yell ‘A wolf is chasing the sheep?’”

The boy laughed. “It was just a joke, everyone.”

The people fumed, but they all returned to their homes.

The next day, the boy bored again decided to amuse himself again. He bellowed, “Wolf! Wolf!” Again, the townspeople came running. Once they arrived and witnessed the laughing boy, they realized they’d been tricked a second time. Nonetheless, they returned home and irritated resolved to never fall for the trick again for third time.

The next day, the boy was watching his sheep. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a wolf appeared from behind the bushes. With its teeth bared, the boy cowered as the wolf approached the sheep. Terrified, he called, “Help! A wolf! A wolf is here!” The people ignored his cries. “That mischievous boy,” they all said to one another. “He must think he can fool us again.” But not one of them came running.

No one was there to witness as the wolf ate every last sheep on the hillside, as the boy helplessly cowered behind a bush. As the boy hid, he shook his head. “I shall never fib again,” he resolved to himself.

How should the underlined section be corrected?

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

who

he

that

was

Correct answer:

who

Explanation:

In this sentence, "who" is used to add a phrase modify the subject, which is the boy. "Whom" would be used if the boy was the indirect object of the sentence, but he is not. "He," "was," and "that" do not introduce the modifying phrase correctly. "Who" does introduce a modifying phrase and refers to the subject of the sentence, so it is the correct choice. 

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