ACT English 1.6 Passage Drill
ACT English: Passage Drill 1, Problem 6. Subject-verb agreement with some commas thrown in to the mix.
|ACT English||Passage Drill|
|Grammar and Usage||Subject-Verb Agreement|
|Product Type||ACT English|
The first thing to think about here is subject-verb agreement.
Believe us, when the subject and verb don't agree, the rest of the sentence suffers.
And then nobody's happy.
Here's the basic principle: when a subject is singular, the verb should be singular,
and when the subject is plural, the verb should be plural.
For example, we wouldn't say, "The monkey throw the coconut at the tourists," because
in this case "monkey" is singular and "throw" is plural.
Instead, we'd make the subject and verb match by rendering them both singular: "The
monkey throws the coconut at the tourists."
Or, we could also make them both plural: "The monkeys throw coconuts at the tourists."
Simple, right? Sure, but this question has another trick up its sleeve...
We also notice that "and all drupes" is separated by commas, signaling that it's
non-essential information to the rest of the sentence.
As such, we can ignore it when considering important questions like subject-verb agreement.
The subject of this sentence is the singular word "coconut," not the plural word "drupes."
Therefore, we know we need a singular verb to match.
Since choices (A), (C), and (D) all use the plural verb "have," we can knock them
out at the same time.
This leaves us with choice (B), the correct answer.
Yeah, it sounds weird because the plural noun "drupes" appears right before the singular verb "has."
However, the real subject of "has" is "coconut," which is singular. So... "has" is indeed the
correct verb here.
We think we'll celebrate by putting the lime in the coconut...