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How to Master the GMAT Subject Verb Agreement

The Verbal section test of Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is one of the areas that its examinee finds most trouble. Most of the cases, students often struggle with Sentence Correction questions for quite some time. Well, it’s not because they can’t read, write or speak. Maybe they are not English native speakers. There are also examinees that are actually brilliant, but are uncertain to determine the correct English grammar.

On the GMAT Sentence Correction, common mistakes occur very frequently on the subject verb agreement. The subject verb agreement basic rule is: the subject must agree in number. It seems like a simple rule. Yet, many people get it wrong so many times when writing. Thus, it is very important to be familiar with the subject verb agreement.

When writing, listen for the sound of “s.” Most people tend to drop the “s” sound when talking, especially in a fast mode. And this resulted to the unconscious dropping of the “s” sound on the word constructions. This common mistake can be easily fixed by following this simple step.

Another important guideline that should be followed is to make sure that the verb agrees with the right subject. When someone writes long sentences, it is a common mistake to get confused on which noun that a verb should agree with. In this case, reading the sentence carefully for a couple of rounds will do to identify the correct subject.

The collective nouns are definitely singular. Collective nouns are used to identify a group or family. Examples of these are: a family, a band, a company, an army and a class. When these nouns are inside the sentence, they should be treated singular nouns and requires the matching verbs.

Knowing what the subject in a sentence would determine the right verb to use. The general rule states that the subject is usually immediately to the left of the verb. One rule also states that if the subjects are connected with the word “or”, use a singular verb. However, if subjects are connected with the word “and”, verb should be in the plural form. When in doubt, it should be remembered that the verb agrees with the nearest subject. Also, there are subjects that sound plural, but they actually use singular verbs. These are the word everybody, anybody, no one, somebody, nobody each, either and neither.

With the fact that English has the largest vocabularies in the world, one could not really expect that brushing up on subject verb agreement is just simple. But as a GMAT examinee, it should not be the reason to fail the examination. That is why there are many GMAT exam resources online that offers effective verb/agreement practice tests. These GMAT online courses have sample questions that can be downloaded and would help to discern where the communication skills that needs improvement before taking the GMAT exam. With a little discipline and determination, passing the GMAT subject verb agreement could be a lot easier.