SAT Writing : Correcting Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Correcting 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.

The boys in the class hates the movie.

Possible Answers:

The boys in the class hating the movie.

A boys in the class hates the movie.

The boys in the class hate the movie.

The boys in the class hates the movie.

The boys in the class is hating the movie.

Correct answer:

The boys in the class hate the movie.

Explanation:

Although the verb "hates," which is used with singular nouns, is next to the singular noun "class," the subject of the sentence is the plural noun "boys." The verb needs to be changed to its plural form. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "The boys in the class hate the movie."

Example Question #41 : 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 children were late in joining the group for the trip.

Possible Answers:

One of the children was late in joining

One of the children were late in joining

One of the children were late to join

One of the children were later in joining

One of the children were lately in joining

Correct answer:

One of the children was late in joining

Explanation:

Although the plural verb "were" is next to the plural noun "children," the subject of the sentence is the singular "one." A subject and verb in a sentence must always be in agreement regarding number (whether a noun is singular or plural). Therefore, the correct answer choice is "One of the children was late in joining."

Example Question #13 : Correcting 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 boys were always coming late to class, but it was always a different one each day.

Possible Answers:

One of the boys was always coming late to class

One of the boys were always coming late for class

One of the boys were always come late to class

One of the boys were always coming late to class

One of the boys were always came late to class

Correct answer:

One of the boys was always coming late to class

Explanation:

The use of "were" is incorrect in this sentence, as the subject is "one," a singular noun. Even though "were" is next to the word "boys," it needs to be a singular verb form. "One of the boys was always coming late to class" is the only answer choice that uses the correct verb form.

Example Question #21 : 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.

Every one of the kids like their new teacher, who arrived in the middle of the semester.

Possible Answers:

Every one of the kids like their new teacher

Every one of the kids liking their new teacher

Every one of the kids like there new teacher

Every one kids like their new teacher

Every one of the kids likes their new teacher

Correct answer:

Every one of the kids likes their new teacher

Explanation:

The verb used in the sentence, "like," is a plural form, but the subject of the sentence is actually a singular form, "Every one." A subject and verb must always be in agreement. "Every one of the kids likes their new teacher" is the only answer choice to have appropriate subject-verb agreement.

Example Question #22 : 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.

The leader of the football players make all decisions for the entire group.

Possible Answers:

the football players were making all decisions

the football players makes all decisions

the football players making all decisions

the football players make all decisions

the football players to make all decisions

Correct answer:

the football players makes all decisions

Explanation:

The use of the plural verb form "make" is incorrect in this sentence, as the subject, "The leader," is a singular noun. A subject and verb must always be in agreement, meaning the verb needs to be changed to a singular form. Only "the football players makes all decisions" uses the proper verb form, so it is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #23 : 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.

The first of the shows were much tamer than the shows that came later.

Possible Answers:

the shows were much tamer

the shows was much tamer

the shows were more tamer

the show's were much tamer

the shows were much tamest

Correct answer:

the shows was much tamer

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence is a singular noun, "first," but the sentence is written with a plural verb, "were." A subject and the verb that describes its action must always be in agreement, meaning this verb needs to be changed to a singular form. The only answer choice to use the correct verb form is "the shows was much tamer."

Example Question #261 : Correcting Word Usage 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 boys were making trouble for everybody else.

Possible Answers:

the boys was making trouble

the boys were make trouble

the boys were made trouble

the boys were making trouble

the boys were making troubling

Correct answer:

the boys was making trouble

Explanation:

The verb in the sentence, "were," is a plural verb, but the subject of the sentence is "one," a singular noun. Any subject and verb must be in agreement, so the verb has to be changed to the singular form, because "one" is not underlined in the sentence. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "the boys was making trouble."

Example Question #51 : 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 argument over the scandal and the authority of the governor have intensified greatly.

Possible Answers:

the authority of the governor has

the authority of the governor have

whether the governor has authority has

what the authority of the governor is has

the governor's authority have

Correct answer:

the authority of the governor has

Explanation:

Because the subject of the sentence is the singular noun argument, the verb have is conjugated incorrectly. The sentence also has a list which requires parallel phrasing. The only choice that corrects both problems is "the authority of the governor has".

Example Question #21 : Correcting 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.

All of the pack is involved in any nighttime hunt, and every wolf shares in the benefits of the prey.

Possible Answers:

The pack are

All of the pack are

All of the pack is

All the pack is

The pack all is

Correct answer:

All of the pack are

Explanation:

The underlined portion has a very simple error, as "all" is a plural noun, and needs a plural form as the subject of the sentence. "The pack" is singular, but is not the subject of the sentence as it is written. The correct answer is "All of the pack are."

Example Question #11 : Correcting 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.

Everyone in the villages know that the boy was in trouble from the moment he came home.

Possible Answers:

know which

know that

knows that

knows which

know of that

Correct answer:

knows that

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence "Everyone" is a singular noun, but the verb "know" is plural. A subject and verb have to match in tense, so the verb needs to be in the singular form. The correct answer is "knows that."

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