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July 7, 2022 CG SAT and ACT Test Prep, ELA Resources - Assessment, ELA PD - Assessment, ELA 9-12, ELA PD - Grammar Writing, ELA Focus - Grammar, Core Grammar

Prepare for the ACT®* with Subject-Verb Agreement Practice Worksheets

To help get ready for ACT", it's wise for teachers to ensure their students receive subject-verb agreement practice. Spotlighting skills every day is one way teachers can support a grammar-rich environment and ultimately prepare students for exams. Working on a skill like subject-verb agreements can help students immensely because it is one of the skills assessed by the ACT suite of tests. With subject-verb agreement practice, students will feel more confident in identifying and correcting almost every subject-verb agreement error they encounter. In particular, teachers should be aware of some trickier subject-verb agreement scenarios.


Subject-Verb Agreement Scenarios to Review

Subject-verb agreement is often intuitive, but in some scenarios can be tricky for students. Subject-verb agreement practice of these tricky scenarios will help students when they inevitably encounter them on a high-stakes test. Familiarity with each of these scenarios will help students in their writing and communication, too. Practice each of these scenarios with students to polish their skills for assessments.

Scenario 1: The subject comes after the verb
Sometimes, verbs follow subjects in sentences—for example, in sentences that are questions and in sentences beginning with here and there. A verb must agree with the subject (which is never here nor there!), even when the subject follows the verb.
Scenario 2: The subject and the verb are separated by several words
In an adjective clause, a phrase divides the subject form the verb. In an intervening phrase or intervening clause, a series of words come between the subject and the verb. A trick for students in this scenario is to identify the simple subject and ask if it is singular or plural to guide subject-verb agreement.
An example of this scenario would be:
Rosa, who is my mentor and colleague, is the first to arrive.
Scenario 3: A plural subject joined by and separated by a lot of words
A compound subject can have singular subjects, plural subjects, or a combination of singular and plural subjects, and a lot of additional words can make choosing the right verb tense more challenging. Knowing sets of rules (like taking a plural verb when a compound subject is joined by and) will help students practice subject-verb agreement.
An example of this scenario would be:
Purple jelly beans, yellow gumdrops, and sour orange gummies are my favorite candies.
Scenario 4: Collective nouns can be either plural or singular
Collective nouns name a group of people or things. Collective nouns can be either singular or plural, depending on the context. When the noun is thought of as a single unit (like a team), a singular verb is used. When a collective noun has multiple members, a plural verb is used. Grammar conventions, or practices, regarding some collective nouns can change depending on common usage (e.g., data).
An example of this scenario would be:
The team is on a winning streak.
Scenario 5: Indefinite pronouns

Indefinite pronouns express an amount or refer to an unspecified person or thing. When used as a subject, some indefinite pronouns are always singular, some are always plural, and some can be singular or plural, depending on their context (like none or some).

An example of this scenario would be:
Any of the basketball courts are available. 

After you've reviewed examples of common and trickier scenarios of subject-verb agreement, pass out my printable subject-verb agreement practice worksheets. The Subject-Verb Agreement Practice Worksheets below mirror the types of sentences students will see on the ACT/SAT®*exams and their suite of assessments. Here is a preview of what you can expect to see on the Subject-Verb Agreement Practice Worksheets:


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Subject-Verb Agreement Exam Example

Here’s an example of the kind of subject-verb agreement problem students might see on an exam and that the worksheet will help them prep for:

Directions: Choose the best answer for the underlined portion in the sentence. If the best answer is not a better answer, choose NO CHANGE.

  1. Diego Rivera painted large frescoes that appeared on the outside walls of the buildings in Mexico City, in plain sight of any passerby. In the 1920s, Rivera practiced the art of painting these murals done on fresh plaster.

    a. No Change
    b. engaged in
    c. influenced
    d. revived

Download the Subject-Verb Agreement Practice Worksheets for your students now!

Subject-verb agreement practice is critical for students as writers and as test takers. The grammar worksheets in this article will assist students in their writing and test prep by providing valuable subject-verb agreement practice that students will need when they encounter tricky subject-verb agreement questions on high-stakes tests.

* ACT® is a registered trademark of the ACT.