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SAT Subject-Verb Agreement Quiz

Before you start, you may want to read the Writing Essentials Subject-Verb Agreement post. If you feel you ‘got it’, then have a go at these five questions. They are not easy, so good luck!

 

1. The number of Americans living in rural areas have decreased (A) to unprecedented levels, with (B)most farmers saying that their days (C)in the country are numbered.  D) No Error. (E)

 

2. According to (A) a recent study, an increasing number of people in their 30’s choose (B) to remain single, a finding that (C), despite reports to the contrary (D),  suggest (E) that fewer (F) people plan to have children. No Error. (G)

 

3. Students, many of whom (A) find themselves in nearly insurmountable debt, are compromising (B) on their career ideals, taking jobs that, while (C) in many cases highly lucrative, are (D) often hardly inspiring. No Error. (E)

 

4. Beaming satellite images from (A) Jupiter, a planet notoriously difficult (B) to photograph, was (C) a remarkable feat for a team of scientists, who, for the first time ever, (D) were (E) able to depict parts of the planet’s atmosphere that were (F)  hitherto (G) unknown. No Error. (H)

 

5. A veritable kaleidoscope of sea life, the seabed has been (A) constantly changing, affording (B) marine biologists with (C) a view into (D) a world both unique and (E) awe-inspiring.  No Error. (F)

 

Answers:

1. A (number has decreased)

2. E (suggests)

3. E (No Error)

4. E (team…was)

5. C (with is unnecessary)

 

If you got all five of those correct, then you are an SAT grammar beast. Way to go!

About the Author

Chris Lele has been helping students excel on the GRE, GMAT, and SAT for the last 10 years. He is the Lead Content Developer and Tutor for Magoosh. His favorite food is wasabi-flavored almonds. Follow him on Google+!

5 Responses to SAT Subject-Verb Agreement Quiz

  1. Shahidor Rahman November 6, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    Hi.

    I’m a little confused about question 4. Why (B) is not incorrect as the subject is “Beaming satellite images” which seems plural. Please help out.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele November 6, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

      Hi Shahidor,

      Good question! So, when a phrase starts off with a gerund, we consider it singular. Another way to think of it is by adding a word in front of the gerund: “(The act of) beaming satellite images…”

      “The act of” or any other logical word you put in front of the phrase is singular. Therefore, the verb relating to that phrase has to be in singular form.

      Here are a few more examples:

      Looking for truffles is common hobby in certain parts of the country.
      Finding out your SAT scores is always nerve-wracking.

      Looking for truffles and studying for the SAT are two ways to spend your weekend.

      Notice in the last sentence we have two gerunds: “looking” and “studying”. Therefore, “are” is used.

      Hope that helps :)

  2. Isaac Rider February 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    I cannot believe someone hasn’t replied to your question yet, Ellen! The reason question 2’s option B is correct is because the members, people, of number, the subject of the sentence, are acting independently. The word number has an odd subject-agreement rule. When the members of number are acting collectively or as one single entity, number takes on a singular form and thus requires a singular verb; e.g., the large number of kids cheers for the team. When the members of number are acting independently or separately, however, number takes on a plural form and thus requires a plural verb; e.g., a large number of kids start up their cars and drive to their homes. I hope this explanation helped clear up some of your confusion!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele March 26, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

      Thanks Isaac for helping this student out. We’ve had some issues on comments on our blogs that–hopefully–are finally resolved. Thanks to helpful users like you, at least not everybody went without an explanation :).

  3. Ellen August 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    Shouldn’t B. be “chooses” for #2? It seems like there are two errors in that one. If not, could you explain why?


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