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Subject Verb Agreement

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. 

Read the original sentence to yourself, listening for errors.  Then check the individual blanks against the Big 8 Grammar Rules. 

The origin of amusement parks lie in ancient and medieval religious festivals and trade fairs, where merchants, entertainers, and food sellers gathered in order to take advantage of the large crowds. No error

(A)  Underlines the subject of the sentence so you must check to see whether the subject agrees with the verb.  In this case the subject and verb are separated by a prepositional phrase, “of amusement parks.”  (If you thought that “amusement parks” was the subject, remember that the object of a preposition can never be the subject of a sentence.)  Ignore the prepositional phrase and the sentence reads “The origin lie.”  This should read “The origin lies.” Mark this error and quickly check the other blanks.

(B) The word “where” is used to describe locations, so this blank has no error.

(C) The word “gathered” is in the past tense, which is correct because the festivals in the sentence are “ancient and medieval” rather than current.

(D) “In order to” is an idiomatically correct phrase to describe the purpose of an activity.

(E) This option cannot be correct because you have already marked an error.


The correct answer is (A).


On sat.collegeboard.org, 37% of the responses were correct.

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