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Sentence Correction: Subject Verb Agreement - X of Y Subject

Even minor cognitive disabilities such as impulsiveness and inattention can create frustration and cause aggressive behavior in children that, in turn, is likely to lead to the more serious problem of social rejection by their peers.

Well done!

This answer choice makes correct use of the time phrase in turn to close to the action it modifies is likely to lead.

Note that in this construction, the complex noun phrase aggressive behavior in children is singular (similar to x of y subject) and is correctly modified by the relative clause that...is likely to lead, which uses a singular verb (is).

Incorrect.

This answer choice is stylistically flawed. The placement of the time phrase in turn far from the action it describes (leading) makes the sentence awkward and less readable.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. Placing a more serious problem right next to peers instead of right next to social rejection creates an illogical sentence. The noun phrase a more serious problem is actually a relative clause in which the relative pronoun and verb to be have been omitted, like in this example:

Correct: John, [who is] a truck driver by day, loves driving small cars.

Correct: John, a truck driver by day, loves driving small cars.

However, in this case this answer choice should be read:

... to social rejection by their peers, [who are] a more serious problem.

The mistake is that the relative clause should modify social rejection, but instead it modifies peers.

Incorrect.

This answer choice introduces two issues:

First, it is grammatically incorrect because the phrase likely of is non-idiomatic. The correct phrase is likely to.

Second, it is stylistically flawed. The placement of the time phrase in turn far from the action it describes (leading) makes the sentence awkward and less readable.

Incorrect.

This answer choice changes the meaning of the original sentence. In the original sentence, aggressive behavior in children, a subject similar to an x of y subjectis likely to lead to a bigger problem. However, by changing the relative pronoun to who, which can refer only to humans, the relative clause in this answer choice refers only to children, stating that they, not their behavior, are the ones likely to lead to the problem.

What helps us identify this question as a Relative Clause question is the following Stop Sign:

who, which, that, whose, whom

that, in turn, is likely to lead to the more serious problem of social rejection by their peers
who are likely, in turn, to lead to the more serious problem of social rejection by their peers
that is likely of leading to the more serious problem, in turn, of social rejection by their peers
likely to lead, in turn, to social rejection by their peers, a more serious problem
likely leading to a more serious problem of social rejection by their peers, in turn