SAT Writing : Identifying Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #31 : Identifying Pronoun Antecedent Agreement Errors

Select the underlined portion of the sentence below that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all. 

Everyone has their fair share of troubles, and some suffer mightily for them. No error

 

Possible Answers:

suffer

No error

Everyone

of

their

Correct answer:

their

Explanation:

The noun "everyone" is a third person, singular noun. Therefore, the correct pronoun to use in conjunction with "everyone" is "his" or "her." While the "troubles" are plural this have no bearing on the pronoun agreement which precedes them.

The full correct version of this sentence would read: "Everyone has his or her fair share of troubles, and some suffer mightily for them."

Example Question #32 : Identifying Pronoun Antecedent Agreement Errors

Select the underlined portion of the sentence below that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

 The wild men became violent; in such a large group they were practically uncontrollable. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

violent;

became

wild

they

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

There is no error in the sentence above, it is correct as written. Note that "wild men" is plural, and so is its corresponding pronoun, "they." While the sentence features two independent clauses, these clauses are correctly connected with a semi-colon.

Example Question #33 : Identifying Pronoun Antecedent Agreement Errors

Select the underlined portion of the sentence below that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The table managed to stand upright, even though it only had three of his legs left. No error

Possible Answers:

his

No error

 managed

upright

though

Correct answer:

his

Explanation:

In this sentence "the table" is the object, and as such it should correspond with the pronoun near the end of the sentence. Because a table is a genderless object, it is inappropriate to use a gendered pronoun (his) in conjunction with it: its is superior in this case.

Example Question #34 : Identifying Pronoun Antecedent 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.

The admissions committee benefited from their decision to accept him, as he proved to be an industrious student. No error

Possible Answers:

as

their

industrious

benefited from

No error

Correct answer:

their

Explanation:

An admissions committee is a thing or a body, so its possessive adjective would be “its.” If the sentence read, “The members of the admissions committee,” “their” would be correct. 

Example Question #35 : Identifying Pronoun Antecedent 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.

Everyone has a right to feel safe in their own home, but that isn't always the case, unfortunately. No error

Possible Answers:

their

case, unfortunately.

home, but

isn't always

No error

Correct answer:

their

Explanation:

There is an antecedent/pronoun agreement error in the sentence above. The antecedent "everyone" does not match up correctly with "their." The part of the sentence that needs to be corrected is, "their," which should be replaced with "his or her"

Example Question #36 : Identifying Pronoun Antecedent 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.

No one should ever be held accountable for something that they didn't do, but it is still important to pursue justice at all times. No error

Possible Answers:

but it is

justice at all times.

ever be held

No error

they didn't

Correct answer:

they didn't

Explanation:

There is an antecedent/pronoun agreement error in the sentence above. The antecedent "no one" does not match up correctly with "their." The portion of the sentence that needs to be corrected is, "they didn't."

Example Question #651 : Identifying Sentence Errors

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

Somebody will have to pay for the damage that they caused to the auditorium; the school can't afford to fix it without help. No error

Possible Answers:

they

can't afford

will have to

No error

auditorium;

Correct answer:

they

Explanation:

There is an antecedent/pronoun agreement error in the sentence above. The antecedent "somebody" does not match up correctly with "they." The portion of the sentence that needs to be corrected is, "they."

Example Question #31 : Identifying Pronoun Antecedent 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.

Everyone has a right to one's opinion, but that doesn't mean that the truth should ever be ignored. No error

Possible Answers:

one's opinion,

No error

doesn't mean

the truth should

has a 

Correct answer:

one's opinion,

Explanation:

There is an antecedent/pronoun agreement error in the sentence above. The antecedent "everyone" does not match up correctly with "one's" The portion of the sentence that needs to be corrected is, "one's opinion," which should be replaced with "his or her opinion," since everyone, while being inclusive, individualizes the multiple subjects.

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