SAT Writing : Correcting Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store varsity tutors amazon store varsity tutors ibooks store

Example Questions

Example Question #1101 : Sentence Correction

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 repeats the underlined portion as it is written.

Both Mark and his friend Josh is a type of person called introverts.

Possible Answers:

are a types

is one type

are a type

is a type

is a types

Correct answer:

are a type

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence, "Mark and his friend Josh," is plural. Therefore, the sentence must use a verb that agrees with a plural subject. So, "are" needs to be used instead of "is." In choosing between "are a type" and "are a types," the phrase "a types" is grammatically incorrect because "a" is an indefinite article used with singular nouns, and "types" is a plural noun. Plus, you can see that the sentence is discussing one type of person "called introverts"—there is no discussion provided of any other type of person, so using the plural "types" would not make sense in the sentence's context. So, "are a type" is the correct answer.

Example Question #32 : 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.

Despite positive reviews from movie critics, the quality of the young director’s recent films are rather questionable.

Possible Answers:

the quality of the young directors recent films is rather questionable.

the quality of the young director’s recent films are rather questionable.

the quality of the young Director’s recent films are rather questionable.

the quality of the young Director’s recent films is rather questionable.

the quality of the young director’s recent films is rather questionable.

Correct answer:

the quality of the young director’s recent films is rather questionable.

Explanation:

An apostrophe is necessary to show possession, but the word “director” doesn’t need to be capitalized unless it is the official title or nickname of the person. Since “the quality” is singular, the sentence must read, "Despite positive reviews from movie critics, the quality of the young director’s recent films is rather questionable."

Example Question #31 : 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.

The treatment of animals in laboratories have become a controversial issue in recent years.

Possible Answers:

have been becoming

has become

having been becoming

have become

had becoming

Correct answer:

has become

Explanation:

The underlined words, the verb phrase "have become," must be in agreement with the subject of the sentence, which is "treatment." In the sentence, treatment is singular, even though it discusses "animals in laboratories." Thus, the singular verb form "has become" is the correct answer.

Example Question #34 : 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.

The oldest of the veterans hold a special place of honor in the group.

Possible Answers:

the veterans holding a special place

the veterans hold a special place

the veterans holds a special place

the veterans hold the special place

the veteran's hold a special place

Correct answer:

the veterans holds a special place

Explanation:

The verb "hold" is a plural verb, but the subject of the sentence is the singular "The oldest." The verb needs to be changed to a singular form to be in agreement with the subject. The only answer choice that uses the correct verb is "the veterans holds a special place."

Example Question #31 : 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.

Each of the teenagers have a brand new cellular phone.

Possible Answers:

Each of the teenagers having

Each of the teenagers have

Each teenager have

Each, of the teenagers, have

Each of the teenagers has

Correct answer:

Each of the teenagers has

Explanation:

The underlined section of the sentence has a problem with the verb "have." While the verb is situated next to the plural noun "teenagers," the subject of the sentence is the word "each," which is singular. Therefore, the verb needs to be a singular form, and "Each of the teenagers has" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #31 : 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.

The teenager, along with her classmates, object to the school's use of uniforms beginning next year.

Possible Answers:

The teenager, along with her classmates, objects 

The teenager along with her classmates, objects

The teenager, along with her classmates, object 

The teenager along with her classmates objects

The teenager along with her classmates object 

Correct answer:

The teenager, along with her classmates, objects 

Explanation:

The issue in the underlined portion of the sentence is that the sentence and verb are not in agreement. While the sentence references "classmates," that is in an interrupting phrase set off by commas, and the subject is the singular "teenager." "The teenager, along with her classmates, objects" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #37 : 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.

The most challenging thing for young musicians are to listen to the rest of the ensemble.

Possible Answers:

are listening

is having listened

are to listen

is to listen

are listen

Correct answer:

is to listen

Explanation:

The use of "are" is incorrect in the sentence, as it is a plural form and the subject of the sentence, "thing," is in the singular. The verb tense for "are" needs to be adjusted to the singular form; therefore, the correct answer is "is to listen."

Example Question #38 : 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.

That actor, who gained fame with his early comedic roles, have also given moving performances in dramatic films.

Possible Answers:

and also has given moving performances

was also being known for moving performances

has also given moving performances

have also given moving performances

but also gave moving performances

Correct answer:

has also given moving performances

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in subject-verb agreement. The subject of the sentence ("That actor") is singular, so change the plural verb "have" to "has."  Adding a conjunction ("and" or "but") in this case creates a sentence structure error. To avoid wordiness, stay away from answer choices that add additional "-ing" verbs.

Example Question #39 : 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.

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, were unsuccessful and have failed to achieve any of their annual goals.

Possible Answers:

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, were unsuccessful and have failed to achieve any of its annual goals.

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, were unsuccessful and has failed to achieve any of their annual goals.

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, were unsuccessful and have failed to achieve any of their annual goals.

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, was unsuccessful and have failed to achieve any of its annual goals.

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, was unsuccessful and has failed to achieve any of its annual goals.

Correct answer:

The convention of meteorologists, despite being well funded, was unsuccessful and has failed to achieve any of its annual goals.

Explanation:

With a complex sentence such as this, it’s important to keep track of your subjects and verbs. Although “meteorologists” is plural, the subject of the sentence is the singular “convention,” and therefore the correct verb forms are “was” and “has failed,” not “were” and “have failed.” Similarly, the singular pronoun “its” is correct and the plural pronoun “their” is incorrect.

Example Question #40 : 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.

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignore some qualified students while the inevitable cadre of underachievers slide under the radar.

Possible Answers:

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignores some qualified students while the inevitable cadre of underachievers slide under the radar.

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignore some qualified students while the inevitable cadre of underachievers slide under the radar.

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignore some qualified students while the inevitable cadre of underachievers slides under the radar.

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignores some qualified students while the small cadre of underachievers slided under the radar.

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignores some qualified students while the inevitable cadre of underachievers slides under the radar.

Correct answer:

I have a feeling that the admissions process, while carefully planned, still ignores some qualified students while the inevitable cadre of underachievers slides under the radar.

Explanation:

There are two instances of subject-verb agreement in this sentence: the singular “admissions process” needs to be paired with the singular verb form “ignores,” and the singular “small cadre of underachievers” needs to be paired with the singular verb form “slides.”

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors