Don’t lose your progress!

We cover every section of the GMAT with in-depth lessons, 5000+ practice questions and realistic practice tests.

Up to 90+ points GMAT score improvement guarantee

The best guarantee you’ll find

Our Premium and Ultimate plans guarantee up to 90+ points score increase or your money back.

Master each section of the test

Comprehensive GMAT prep

We cover every section of the GMAT with in-depth lessons, 5000+ practice questions and realistic practice tests.

Schedule-free studying

Learn on the go

Study whenever and wherever you want with our iOS and Android mobile apps.

The most effective way to study

Personalized GMAT prep, just for you!

Adaptive learning technology focuses on your academic weaknesses.

Sentence Correction: Subject Verb Agreement - X of Y Subject

The famous team of molecular biologists, James Watson and Francis Crick, were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. The singular subject of this sentence The famous team of molecular biologists does not agree with the plural verb were.

[[snippet]]

Incorrect.

Although this answer choice corrects the original Subject Verb Agreement mistake, by correctly matching the singular verb was to the singular subject team, the word collaborating in the middle part of the sentence does not fit into the sentence, because it turns the second part of the sentence into a fragment.

Reading until the end of the corrected sentence will help you identify the fragment:

...but collaborating in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together...what?

In a grammatical sentence a conjugated verb would explain to us what the subject collaborating did. Here, this sentence is just left dangling, and is therefore ungrammatical

Incorrect.

Although this answer choice corrects the original Subject Verb Agreement mistake by correctly matching the singular verb was to the singular subject team, it introduces a new logical error.

The corrected sentence is illogical because a team is not an attempt. It would be logical, however, if the sentence described what the team did, e.g. was the first to attempt...

Incorrect.

This answer choice repeats the Subject Verb Agreement mistake in the original sentence. The singular subject The famous team of molecular biologists does not agree with the plural verb were.

[[snippet]]

In addition the phrase collaborative work makes this answer choice less concise.

Very Good.

You correctly saw that the subject of the sentence is team, a collective noun requiring a singular verb: was.

Correcting the Subject Verb Agreement mistake in answer choice E involves another change: the words first scientists who attempted are replaced by to attempt to. While answer choice B makes the same  correction to the plural verb were, it makes another change at the end of the sentence that turns it into a fragment. Answer choice C also corrects the Subject Verb Agreement mistake, but introduces a logical error. Therefore, answer choice E is the only answer choice that is both grammatically correct and logical, although it is less concise than some of the other answer choices.

were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but collaborating
was not the first attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
were not the first who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work
was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work