ACT & SAT Question of the Day: Apr. 15, 2014

If you are reading this in an email you received from me, do not click the link to below. Use the link to my website that is farther down on the email. (This link takes you to today’s question. If you use my archive, you will see the question related to my SAT explanation for that date.)

The answer is B.  This is a subject-verb agreement question.  The number of  has to have a singular verb.  The current verb, are, is wrong because it is plural.  The verb should be the singular verb  is.  Even though the expression the number of is always followed by a plural noun, don’t be fooled; it takes a singular verb.  (However, a number of takes a plural verb.  Isn’t English fun!)

To help you prepare for the SAT Writing Test and the ACT English Test, I have developed a list of the test writers’ favorite topics.  You can read about them on my free website or watch and listen to me explain them on Video Series #9.  They are also described in my student workbook, Demystifying the SAT & ACT.

It is as important for you to have a list of the grammar topics as it is to have a list of the math topics that show up on the math test.  My programs provide both lists.  It is time to get to work on them!

Let’s see what the ACT folks have for us today.

ACT Question of the Day: Use your “back” button to return to my website after reading the ACT Question of the Day.

Cool, another verb issue that shows up on both tests!  This question is about making sure all the verbs in the sentence are the same tense (which is on my lists mentioned above).

The answer is D.  The verb shone is not underlined which means we have to take it as the baseline time period.  That is, this sentence is in the past tense.  The other verbs in the sentence also need to be in the past tense.  That eliminates Answers A (future tense and wrong form), B (future), and C (present).

Be sure you study my list and the other explanations of grammar and composition errors you will encounter on the test.

QotD Words of “Wiz-dom”:

Take a minute to thank someone today.

I would like to thank my wife!  I get up and write my daily blog early in the morning while she sleeps.  In my drowsy state, I often overlook typos and other errors.  When she gets up, she edits my blog.

In between my writing it and her fixing it, I publish it in its original, unscrutinized version.  Then she revises and updates it later in the morning.  That’s why some of you may see two slightly different versions when you read my blog at different times.

Thanks, Sharon.  So find some people you can thank for what they do.  It will surprise and delight them.

Bob Alexander, the “SAT and ACT Wizard”

About Bob Alexander

Bob has been a professional educator starting with teaching biology, becoming a school administrator, and then working as an education lobbyist in Washington, DC. He got his start in national testing by becoming a consulting test writer, later joining Kaplan as a director, and finally starting his own business in 1995. He has written numerous books, consulted for school districts and colleges, developed his website and been featured on a DVD set. He offers SAT and ACT prep classes and tutors individuals and small groups of students in central Florida.
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