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Subject Verb Agreement

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The first zipper design was patented in 1851, but zippers did not become widely popular until the 1930s, when they were added to children's clothing and touted for their contributions to the youngsters' self-reliance. Early zippers look downright dangerous to modern eyes, though their earliest uses were on shoes and boots rather than clothing. 

5/23 Identifying Sentence Errors

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E.

For Identifying Sentence Errors questions, always read the sentence and focus on anything that sounds strange or wrong. Determine whether that part of the sentence is actually incorrect, then identify the part of the sentence that, if changed, would correct the error. Double-check that the other sections of the sentence are correct as they are, and finally mark the correct answer on your answer sheet.

Used in place of buttons, hooks and eyes, or laces, the zipper consists of two rows of plastic or metal teeth and bound to the edges of two strips of fabric. No error



First, read the sentence to get a feel for how it sounds. If you have a good ear for grammar, D should sound strange to you because the conjunction "and" is not used correctly. A conjunction connects two things together, but in this sentence, "and" is used only with "bound." To be used correctly, another verb must be used with "bound;" for example, "aligned and bound." Before marking this as the correct answer, quickly check the other options to make sure you are choosing the correct one.

A: "in place of" introduces the longer phrase "in place of buttons, hooks and eyes, or laces." "In place" is a prepositional phrase modifying the participle "used," and "of buttons, hooks and eyes, or laces" modifies "place." These are used correctly.

B: "or" is a coordinating conjunction, like "and," but it carries a different connotation. "And" conveys that two or more items are grouped together and act similarly within the context of the sentence, but "or" conveys that, of two or more items, only one does what the sentence says. In this case, one attachment point would use either a button, a hook-and-eye closure, or laces, so "or" is correct.

C: "consists of" is an idiomatic expression used to introduce items that make up a larger whole. It is used correctly here to communicate that the parts of a zipper make up a whole zipper.

D: "and bound" does not connect another verb to "bound," so it is incorrect.

The answer is D.


On sat.collegeboard.org, 63% of responses were correct.


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