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Core Reading Lesson

Number Agreement

Sample
Lesson

Number agreement on the SAT refers to the concept that items in a sentence need to match each other in number. Singular items need to be referred to as singular items, and plural items need to be referred to as plural items. This shows up mainly in two forms: Subject-Verb Agreement, and Pronoun Reference.

Take note! This is the #1 tested grammar rule on the SAT. Master this and you’re on your way to scoring big points!

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Please choose the answer that best matches the question asked.

Sample
Question

Skiing and snowboarding both require excellent balance and coordination. However, the necessary gear for the two mountain sports are quite different.

A
NO CHANGE
B
is
C
were
D
was

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When you’ve got your answer, check the explanation in the following section to see if you got it right!

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Explanation

B is the error.

Here we need to choose the correct verb form for this sentence. The first thing to do is identify what the subject of the sentence is. In this case, the subject is “gear,” because the phrase "for the two mountain sports" is just a description of the gear.

It does not make sense to say “gear are” or “gear were,” so choices A and C can be eliminated. We are now left with “is” and “was”—a present-tense and a past-tense option. The verb in the first sentence, "require," is in the present tense, so this one should be too. So choice B, with the present-tense singular verb form “is,” is correct.

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