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Sentence Correction: Subject Verb Agreement - X of Y Subject

In different countries, crimes of passion inevitably fall into different categories of punishability; however, it is widely accepted in the Western World that murders of passion carries greater severity than manslaughter but are not as severe as premeditated murder.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. Murders of passion is an X of Y subject. In such cases, the verb should agree with X (murders), which is plural. However, the verb carries is singular.

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

The subject is in the form of X of Y

Incorrect.

Although it corrects the original Subject Verb Agreement mistake, this answer choice radically changes the meaning of the sentence. Adding the word if and changing than to then creates a condition which does not exist in the original sentence.

Incorrect.

This answer choice corrects the original subject Verb Agreement mistake, by changing the singular verb carries to the plural verb carry, to match the plural subject murders of passion. However, it also creates a new error of the same kind.  

Notice that this clause contains two verbs that must both agree with the subject: murders of passion carry....but is. Although carry is plural, the verb is is singular.

The following Stop Signs help us identify this question as a Subject Verb Agreement question as well as identify this mistake:

- The subject is in the form of X of Y
- Long distance between subject and verb

Incorrect.

This answer choice, while grammatically correct, is stylistically flawed. The meaning of the words there is a consensus regarding is already expressed by the words it is widely accepted earlier in the sentence, creating redundancy.

Great!

This answer choice corrects the original Subject Verb Agreement mistake, by replacing the singular verb carries with the plural verb are.

Notice that a change of wording does not always imply a change in meaning. In this answer choice, words are changed, but the meaning is retained.

that murders of passion carries greater severity than manslaughter but are not as severe as premeditated murder
that murders of passion are less severe than premeditated murder but are more severe than manslaughter
that murders of passion carry greater severity than manslaughter but is not as severe as premeditated murder
that there is a consensus regarding murders of passion being of greater severity than manslaughter but not being as severe as premeditated murder
that if murders of passion carry greater severity, then manslaughter are not as severe as premeditated murder