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Sentence Correction: Subject Verb Agreement - X of Y Subject

Native-American folklore portrays a reality in which recurring instances of animalistic shapeshifting is ascribed to shamans or medicine women; often, the ingestion of various herbs, known today to contain hallucinogenics, are the means to achieve this transformation.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect.

Recurring instances of animalistic shapeshifting is an X of Y subject. In such cases, the verb should agree with X (instances), which is plural. However, the verb is is singular.

Also, the ingestion of various herbs is an X of Y subject. In such cases, the verb should agree with X (ingestion), which is singular. However, the verb are is plural.

[[snippet]]

Very good!

This answer choice corrects both original Subject Verb Agreement mistakes, by changing the singular verb is to the plural verb are, to match the plural subject instances, and the plural verb are to the singular verb is, to match the singular subject ingestion

Incorrect.

Although this answer choice corrects one of the original Subject Verb Agreement mistakes, it keeps the other and is thus grammatically incorrect.

Recurring instances of animalistic shapeshifting is an X of Y subject. In such cases, the verb should agree with X (instances), which is plural. However, the verb is is singular.

[[snippet]]

Incorrect.

Although it corrects the original Subject Verb Agreement mistakes, this answer choice both changes the original meaning and does not fit into the original sentence. Omitting the verb is before ascribed creates a sentence which is missing an essential object to the verb ascribed:

Native-American folklore portrays a reality in which recurring instances of animalistic shapeshifting ascribed to shamans or medicine women ...? ; often, the ingestion of various herbs, known today to contain hallucinogenics, is the means to achieve this transformation

Incorrect.

Although it corrects both original Subject Verb Agreement mistakes, this answer choice changes the meaning of the sentence by adding the word only before means.

is ascribed to shamans or medicine women; often, the ingestion of various herbs, known today to contain hallucinogenics, are the means to achieve this transformation
are ascribed to shamans or medicine women; often, the ingestion of various herbs, known today to contain hallucinogenics, is the means to achieve this transformation
is ascribed to shamans or medicine women; often, this transformation is achieved through the ingestion of various herbs, known today to contain hallucinogenics.
ascribed to shamans or medicine women; often, the ingestion of various herbs, known today to contain hallucinogenics, is the means to achieve this transformation
are ascribed to shamans or medicine women; often, the ingestion of various herbs, known today to contain hallucinogenics, is the only means by which this transformation is achievable.