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Sentence Correction: Subject Verb Agreement - X of Y Subject

In ancient Celtic Europe, the Beating of the Bounds were a series of ritualistic thrashes with a hazel or birch branch on the limits of a village or township meant to protect the area from evil spirits although the reasoning behind those thrashes are still vague.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect and contains two Subject Verb agreement mistakes.

Firstly, Beating of the Bounds is an X of Y subject. In such cases, the verb should agree with X - beating. Beating is singular since a subject in the form of Verb+ing is considered a singular subject. However, the verb were is plural.

[[snippet]]

Excellent!

Incorrect.

This answer choice corrects the original Subject Verb Agreement mistake, by changing the plural verb were to the singular verb was to match the singular subject Beating. However, this answer choice does not fit into the original sentence. The verb is which was added at the end of the underlined part clashes with the verb are at the end of the sentence.

Incorrect.

This answer choice repeats both original Subject Verb Agreement mistakes.

Firstly, Beating of the Bounds is an X of Y subject. In such cases, the verb should agree with X - beating. Beating is singular since a subject in the form of Verb+ing is considered a singular subject. However, the verb were is plural.

[[snippet]]

Incorrect.

Although it corrects both original Subject Verb Agreement mistakes, this answer choice is illogical. Changing the word meant into means in the middle of the sentence creates an illogical, meaningless sentence.

Did you notice the change from meant to means?

The lesson to be learned here is that you should pay closer attention to details. Changes in the sentence may not always revolve around the original mistake.

You are right about the word means and its other meaning. However, in order to fit into the sentence it requires additional words, such as:

which were a means to protect...
considered a means to protect...

Bounds were a series of ritualistic thrashes with a hazel or birch branch on the limits of a village or township meant to protect the area from evil spirits although the reasoning
Bounds, meant to protect an area from evil spirits, was performed by a series of ritualistic thrashes with a hazel or birch branch on the limits of a village or township although the reasons
Bounds was a series of ritualistic thrashes with a hazel or birch branch on the limits of a village or township meant to protect the area from evil spirits although the reasoning is
Bounds, a series of ritualistic thrashes with a hazel or birch branch on the limits of a village or township, were meant to protect the area from evil spirits although the rationale
Bounds was a series of ritualistic thrashes with a hazel or birch branch on the limits of a village or township means to protect the area from evil spirits although the reasons

Yes, but I thought it made sense. Means is not just a verb but could also mean a method of doing something.

No, I missed it.