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Sentence Correction: Subject Verb Agreement - A Pseudo-Plural Singular Subject

Despite all attempts to curb the damages, the long-foreseen water and oil crisis are about to bring the country's economy to its knees.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. The singular subject crisis does not agree with the plural verb are.

What helps us identify this question as a Subject Verb Agreement question as well as identify this mistake is the following Stop Sign:

A pseudo-plural singular subject

Crisis is a confusing word. It end with -s, which makes us think of it as a plural subject, but it is, in fact, singular (the plural form of crisis is crises).

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the original mistake, it does not fit into the original sentence as a result of replacing the word to with down. There's no such thing as bring an economy down its knees

Very good!

This answer choice corrects the original Subject Verb Agreement mistake, by changing the singular subject crisis to the plural subject crises, to match the plural verb are

Sometimes a mistake can be corrected by the substitution of a single letter (crisis - crises). Keep your eyes peeled for every small change!

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the original Subject Verb Agreement mistake, it changes the meaning of the original sentence by omitting the words and oil.

Did you notice this difference in the sentence?

It is true that according to the Sentence Correction Work Order we first scan the answer choices for grammatical mistakes which can eliminate them. The correct answer choice will always be grammatically correct.

However, it is also essential that the answer choice won't change the meaning of the original sentence. Remember, we are looking for an answer choice that delivers the same meaning as the original sentence but in a grammatically correct, and, if possible, stylistically superior way.

OK, so the lesson to be learned from this question is to pay close attention to details.

Answer choices that correct the original mistake often include other mistakes which may help you eliminate them. Do not automatically assume that the only mistake to be corrected is the original mistake.

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the original mistake, it is stylistically flawed. Adding the word down creates redundancy.

water and oil crisis are about to bring the country's economy to
water and oil crisis is about to bring the country's economy down
water and oil crises are about to bring the country's economy to
water crisis is about to bring the country's economy to
water and oil crisis is about to bring the country's economy down to
Sure. I went for grammatical correctness.
No, I must have missed it.