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Subject Verb Agreement

Writing: 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 entire sentence to yourself, listening for errors.  Then quickly check each of the underlined portions against the Big 8 Grammar Rules. 

The Sundance Film Festival, which is located in Park City, Utah, and was founded by actor and director Robert Redford, have introduced audiences to some of the most acclaimed and popular independent films of the last thirty years. No error.

(A)  This underlined portion tests whether you know the difference between “which” and “that.”  The word “which” must come after a comma because the following information is not essential to the sentence.  The word “that” needs no comma because the following information is vital to the sentence.  This sentence requires the word “which.”  Also, notice that the festival is singular so the verb “is” is correct.  There is no error here.

(B)   Whenever you see a tense change, make sure that it is necessary.  This sentence changes from “is located” to “was founded.”  It does not make sense to say “is founded” because a festival can only be founded once; it is not an ongoing process but an event that happened in the past.  The change is correct.  There is no error here.

(C)  This underlined portion says “have introduced.”  Whenever you have a verb separated from its subject, be especially careful to make sure that the subject and verb match.  You already noted that the film festival is singular, so would it make sense to write, “the festival have introduced?”  No.  You need the word “has.”  Mark this error and quickly look at your other choices.

(D)  The word “most” modifies the word “acclaimed” and is placed as close as possible to the word it modifies.  Notice that the word “most” is appropriate rather than the word “more” because this sentence is comparing all of the films of the last thirty years.  One thing is “more acclaimed” than another if you are comparing only two things.  There is no error here.

(E)  This cannot be the answer because you already found an error.

The correct answer is (C).


On sat.collegeboard.org, 67% of the responses were correct.

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