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 #41 : 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 seven gems in the Queen's crown were mined from each of the seven continents on Earth, making it representative of the Queen's desire for a worldwide empire. 

Possible Answers:

was mining from each of the seven continents on Earth

were mines from each of the seven continents on Earth

were mined from each of the seven continents on Earth

was mined from each of the seven continents on Earth

were mining from each of the seven continents on Earth

Correct answer:

was mined from each of the seven continents on Earth

Explanation:

Although there are seven gems, the subject of the sentence is "Each" of the gems, which is a singular noun. Therefore, the correct phrase uses the singular past verb form—"was mined from each of the seven continents on Earth."

Example Question #42 : 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.

"Only one of the teams are going to make it to regionals," said Coach Joe.

Possible Answers:

"One team is going to make it to regionals only," said Coach Joe.

"Only one of the teams are going to make it to regionals," said Coach Joe.

"Only one of the teams are going to make it to regionals." Said Coach Joe. 

"Only one of the teams are to make it to regionals," said Coach Joe. 

"Only one of the teams is going to make it to regionals," said Coach Joe.

Correct answer:

"Only one of the teams is going to make it to regionals," said Coach Joe.

Explanation:

The singular use of "is going to" is correct, not the plural use of "are going to." This is because the verb "is" is modifying the "one" team that is going to make it, not the plural "teams." The "of the teams" can be taken out to show that one should use "is", not "are": "Only one . . . is going to make it to regionals."

Example Question #43 : 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.

A combination of trenchant social commentary and delightfully entertaining plot twists characterize the novels of Jane Austen.

Possible Answers:

the fact that she twists the plot in delightfully entertaining ways characterizes the novels of Jane Austen. 

delightfully entertaining plot twists characterizes the novels of Jane Austen. 

the fact that she twists the plot in delightfully entertaining ways characterize the novels of Jane Austen. 

delightfully entertaining plot twists characterize the novels of Jane Austen. 

delightfully entertaining plot twists have characterized the novels of Jane Austen. 

Correct answer:

delightfully entertaining plot twists characterizes the novels of Jane Austen. 

Explanation:

The subject of this sentence, "A combination," is singular, so the predicate should be singular, too. The original text "delightfully entertaining plot twists characterize the novels of Jane Austen" and the answer choice "delightfully entertaining plot twists have characterized the novels of Jane Austen" contain plural predicates and therefore lead to subject-verb agreement errors. 

The answer choice "the fact that she twists the plot in delightfully entertaining ways characterizes the novels of Jane Austen" leads to faulty parallelism and the use of an ambiguous pronoun, and the answer choice "the fact that she twists the plot in delightfully entertaining ways characterize the novels of Jane Austen" leads to errors in both parallelism and subject-verb agreement.

Only answer choice "delightfully entertaining plot twists characterizes the novels of Jane Austen" correctly preserves the parallel structure and avoids any subject-verb agreement errors.

Example Question #41 : 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.

No one knows where the paintings were anymore, as all records of their location were lost over a century ago.

Possible Answers:

No one knows where the painting's

No one knows where the paintings

No one knew where the paintings

No body knows where the paintings

No one know where the paintings

Correct answer:

No one knew where the paintings

Explanation:

The use of the past tense verb "were" indicates that the main verb of the sentence, "knows," should also be in the past tense, as they should be in agreement. Thus, the verb "knows" needs to be changed to its past-tense form. "No one knew where the paintings" is the only answer choice that correctly does this.

Example Question #41 : 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.

Making up stories are one of the chief ways a child learns to develop critical thinking skills.

Possible Answers:

Making up stories is one of the chief ways

Making up, stories are one of the chief ways

Making up stories are one of the chief ways

Making up stories are one of the chief way's

Making up stories are one chief way

Correct answer:

Making up stories is one of the chief ways

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence is actually the gerund phrase "Making up stories," which is a singular construction, despite the use of "stories." The verb, therefore, must match the singular subject, but is written in a plural form. "Making up stories is one of the chief ways" is the answer choice that best corrects this issue.

Example Question #41 : 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.

Freud and other advocates of introspective psychology argue that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contribute to the overall health of an individual.

Possible Answers:

argues that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contributes to the overall health

argue that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contribute to the overall health

argue that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contributes to the overall health

argues that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contribute to the overall health

argue that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contribute for the overall health

Correct answer:

argue that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contributes to the overall health

Explanation:

The answer choice "argue that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contributes to the overall health" is correct. It contains the correct number agreement of the verb "contributes" with its subject, "a feeling of connectedness with other human beings."

The answer choices containing "contribute" instead of "contributes" are incorrect. The subject of "contribute" is singular, not plural.

Although the answer choice "argues that a feeling of connectedness with other human beings, along with a positive self-image, contributes to the overall health" correctly contains "contributes," the verb "argues" introduces a number agreement error, as "argues" is singular but being used with a plural subject, "Freud and other advocates of introspective psychology."

Example Question #44 : 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.

Tom, Dick, and Harry all laments the loss of a previous innocence they possessed as children.

Possible Answers:

all lament

all laments

each lament

laments

all lamenting

Correct answer:

all lament

Explanation:

The use of "all" is the key indicator of the correct answer in the sentence. While "Tom, Dick, and Harry" are singular as individuals, they are "all" together sharing their feeling as a plural group; therefore, "all lament" is the correct choice among the answers.

Example Question #45 : 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 children are playing with a different toy.

Possible Answers:

Each one of the children are

Each of the children is

Each of the children are

Children are

Children is

Correct answer:

Each of the children is

Explanation:

The underlined portion does not show proper subject-verb agreement. Although there are "children" playing, the sentence refers to "each," which is singular. "Each of the children is" is the correct answer.

Example Question #41 : 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 hikers had already been traveling for over an hour when they realized their water bottle were missing.

Possible Answers:

for over an hour when they realized their water bottle were missing

for over an hour when they realize their water bottle were missing

for over an hours when they realized their water bottle were missing

for over an hour when they realized their water bottle is missing

for over an hour when they realized their water bottles were missing

Correct answer:

for over an hour when they realized their water bottles were missing

Explanation:

In the original sentence, the noun "water bottle" is singular but the verb "were" is plural. Changing the noun to "water bottles" corrects this.

Example Question #2152 : 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 lint falling from both of his pockets make him seem terribly unprofessional.

Possible Answers:

The lint falling from both of his pockets makes

The lint that was falling from both of his pockets make

The lint fell from both of his pockets makes

Falling from both of his pockets was the lint that make

Because lint falls from both of his pockets,

Correct answer:

The lint falling from both of his pockets makes

Explanation:

Although "pockets" may seem like the subject--which would make the original verb agree--"pockets" is actually an object of the preposition "of." So the verb "make" needs to be adjusted to "makes" in order to agree with the actual subject "Lint."

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors