SAT Writing : Identifying Noun-Noun Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

As part of their development, caterpillars form a cocoon and eventually emerge as moths or butterflies. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

a cocoon

eventually

their

emerge

Correct answer:

a cocoon

Explanation:

This sentence's error is a problem with agreement of plurals. Multiple "caterpillars" should form multiple cocoons, but the sentence uses the singular noun "a cocoon," which doesn't make sense. "A cocoon" is thus the correct answer, and the corrected sentence reads, "As part of their development, caterpillars form cocoons and eventually emerge as moths or butterflies."

Example Question #12 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Dedication, hard work, and attention to detail are all an important factor in determining success. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

are

an important factor

determining

and attention to detail

Correct answer:

an important factor

Explanation:

As with pronouns, when a noun or group of nouns is replaced in a sentence by another noun, they must agree in number. The multiple subjects "Dedication," "work," and "attention" call for a plural word.  A simple correction would be "important factors"

Example Question #13 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera were both well-known and talented Mexican painterNo error

Possible Answers:

painter

were both

talented

and her

No error

Correct answer:

painter

Explanation:

In this sentence, there are two individuals, both painters, so the object should reflect that number. The corrected sentence reads, "Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera were both well-known and talented Mexican painters."

Example Question #14 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Recognizing that the inhabitants of Earth suffered from many wars, disasters, and diseases, the aliens hoped to be welcomed as a saviorNo error

Possible Answers:

suffer from

wars, disasters, and diseases

No error

as a savior

Recognizing

Correct answer:

as a savior

Explanation:

This sentence lacks agreement between nouns. Since there are many aliens, “savior” should be plural. The corrected sentence reads, "Recognizing that the inhabitants of Earth suffered from many wars, disasters, and diseases, the aliens hoped to be welcomed as saviors."

Example Question #15 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

All of my sisters are a pediatrician, but I want to be a marine biologist. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

a pediatrician

are 

all of

but

Correct answer:

a pediatrician

Explanation:

Because there are multiple sisters, the noun that describes their profession ("pediatrician") should be plural; "a pediatrician" should thus be changed to "pediatricians."

Example Question #16 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Alyssa asked all of her friends to become a member of the new intramural volleyball team, even though some of them were not good athletes. No error

Possible Answers:

were

a member

No error

even though

all of

Correct answer:

a member

Explanation:

The correct answer is "a member." Because Alyssa is asking "her friends," which is plural, the corresponding noun should also be plural—"members" instead of "member."

Example Question #17 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Elena, Laura, and May want to go to the movie theater, but they don't have enough money to buy a ticketNo error

Possible Answers:

No error

a ticket

Elena, Laura, and May

movie theater, but 

enough

Correct answer:

a ticket

Explanation:

Since the sentence uses a compound subject—"Elena, Laura, and May" —the corresponding noun of "ticket" should be plural, since the three girls will need multiple tickets.

Example Question #18 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Many people have great ideas, but without plans those ideas are just a harmless notion. No error

Possible Answers:

people

plans

but 

a harmless notion

No error

Correct answer:

a harmless notion

Explanation:

Because the plural "ideas" and the singular "a dream" have the same referent, both should be either singular or plural. Therefore, the best way to correct this sentence is to pluralize "a harmless notion."

Example Question #19 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

All of the farmer's chickens proved to be an excellent producer of eggs; he made quite a large profit due to their productivity. No error

Possible Answers:

All of the

due to their productivity

No error

eggs; he

proved

Correct answer:

All of the

Explanation:

"All of the" is inconsistent with the rest of that sentence, specifically "an excellent producer." These two nouns must agree in number, but they do not here. "All" should be changed to "Each" in order to maintain agreement with "an excellent producer," and the corrected sentence would read: "Each of the farmer's chickens proved to be an excellent producer..."

Example Question #20 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Reading, writing, and arithmetic are essential skill to learn in elementary school. No error

Possible Answers:

and

are

in elementary school

No error

skill

Correct answer:

skill

Explanation:

There is a discrepancy in the agreement of nouns in this sentence. "Reading, writing and arithmetic" require the plural form of "skill," "skills." Multiple subjects require a plural predicate to match their form. "Reading, writing, and arithmetic" are not being discussed as a unified group (which is an exception requiring a singular predicate), so the agreement must be plural, because several subjects are being discussed.

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