SAT Writing : Correcting Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #54 : Agreement Errors

The number of physics principles on tomorrow’s exam are too much for me to remember.

Possible Answers:

The number of physics principles on tomorrow’s exam are too much of me to remember.

The number of physics principles on tomorrow’s exam are too much for me to remember.

The number of physics principles on tomorrows’ exam are too much for me to remember.

The number of physics principles on tomorrow’s exam is too much for me to remember.

The number of physics principles on tomorrow’s exam are much too much for me to remember.

Correct answer:

The number of physics principles on tomorrow’s exam is too much for me to remember.

Explanation:

Here, there is a subject-verb agreement problem. The subject is “number”, which is singular. The verb “are” does not match up with “number” because it is plural. We need to say “number…is”.

Example Question #55 : 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.

Some of the soldiers is still missing years after the war is over.

Possible Answers:

Some soldiers miss

Some of the soldier missing

Some of the soldiers is still missing

Some soldiers is still missing

Some of the soldiers are still missing

Correct answer:

Some of the soldiers are still missing

Explanation:

The use of the phrase "Some of the" always indicates a plural, even when referring to small slice of a larger group. The verb tense for "is" then needs to be changed into a plural form. "Some of the soldiers are still missing," is the correct answer choice.

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.

When does the restaurant closes after dinner?

Possible Answers:

closes

should close

will close

closing

close

Correct answer:

close

Explanation:

Becuase the subject, "restaurant," is singluar, the verb must be be singular as well. The verb and the subject in a sentence must always agree with each other.

Example Question #57 : 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.

 

After watching their home team hit the game-winning home run, the group of hometown fans were ecstatic.

Possible Answers:

the group of hometown fans was ecstatic

the group of hometown fans were ecstatic

the hometown fans in the group was ecstatic

the group was ecstatic with hometown fans

the group of hometown fans became ecstatic

Correct answer:

the group of hometown fans was ecstatic

Explanation:

The term "group" is a singular subject; therefore, the verb must be "was," as opposed to "were."

Example Question #58 : 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.

Due to the elliptical shape of celestial orbits, the distance between the sun and the planets vary over time.

Possible Answers:

the distance between the sun and the planets vary over time.

the distance between the sun and the planets have varied over time.

the distance between the sun and the planets varies over time.

the distance between the sun with the planets vary over time.

the distance of the sun to the planets vary over time.

Correct answer:

the distance between the sun and the planets varies over time.

Explanation:

The answer choice "the distance between the sun and the planets varies over time" is correct. It correctly uses a singular verb—"varies"—to match the singular subject, "distance."

All of the other answer choices are incorrect because they contain a subject-verb number agreement error. They use plural verb forms when they should use singular verb forms instead.

Example Question #59 : 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.

Due to the fact that newspapers and magazines focus on death, corruption, and other negative matters, the majority of the public believes that the media are pessimistic.

Possible Answers:

the majority of the public believes that the media is pessimistic.

the majority of the public believes that the media are pessimistic.

the majority of the public believe that the media are pessimistic.

the majority of the public believe that the media can be pessimistic.

the majority of the public believes that the medias are pessimistic.

Correct answer:

the majority of the public believes that the media are pessimistic.

Explanation:

No error. The subject “the majority” is singular, so the verb must be “believes.” "The media" is plural because it refers to various sources, so the verb should be “are.”

Example Question #60 : Agreement Errors

No one question the desire to succeed among most students in a competitive school environment.

Possible Answers:

Nobody question

No one questions

No question

No one question

No questions

Correct answer:

No one questions

Explanation:

The underlined part of the sentence contains a flaw in subject verb agreement. "No one" is properly used as a singular form. Therefore, "no one questions" is the correct answer choice.

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.

A hundred miles west of Scotland lie a multitude of interconnected lakes rich in mining exports. 

Possible Answers:

lies a multitude

there are a multitude

lie a multitude

are a multitude

there have been a multitude

Correct answer:

lies a multitude

Explanation:

Since "multitude" is a singular subject, its verb must be singular as well. The only answer choice that contains a singular verb is "lies"; the rest incorrectly contain plural verbs.

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.

Though most people are unaware of it, there is over a hundred varieties of coffee which grow throughout the world.

Possible Answers:

there is over a hundred varieties of coffee that grow throughout the world.

there are over a hundred varieties of coffee that grow throughout the world.

there are over a hundred varieties of coffee which grow throughout the world.

there is over a hundred varieties of coffee which grow throughout the world.

there is over a hundred varieties of coffees that grow throughout the world.

Correct answer:

there are over a hundred varieties of coffee that grow throughout the world.

Explanation:

"There are” is correct because it indicates the existence of more than one thing (e.g., varieties). “Which” is incorrect because it does not follow a comma, nor does it refer to a complement/predicate. 

Example Question #282 : Improving Sentences

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 members of the group was frequently at odds with their rivals over petty differences.

Possible Answers:

the group was at odds frequently

the group were frequently at odds

the group was frequent at odds

the group was frequently at odds

the group was frequently in odds

Correct answer:

the group were frequently at odds

Explanation:

The use of the singular verb "was" is incorrect with the plural subject "members." Even though the verb is next to the singular group, the verb needs to match the subject. Thus the correct answer choice is "the group were frequently at odds," which is the only choice with the appropriate verb tense.

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