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Sentence Correction: Subject Verb Agreement - A Complex Subject/Long Distance between Subject and Verb

Whereas large corporations can afford to maintain their own employee catering services, many smaller companies find that the cost associated with maintaining a dining room, a kitchen, kitchen equipment and kitchen staff are too high.

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the original mistake, by changing the singular subject cost to the plural costs it also changes the first underlined word, the verb maintain, to maintaining.

This creates a bad fit with the original sentence, as the last word before the underlined part - to - cannot be followed by maintaining (to maintaining is grammatically incorrect). In addition, this change is unnecessary as the original maintain was not a mistake.

Remember, we aspire to make as few changes as possible other than correcting the original mistake(s).

Very Good!

This answer choice corrects the original grammatical mistake by replacing the singular subject cost with the plural subject costs, so that it agrees with the plural verb are.

[[snippet]]

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the original mistake by changing the singular subject cost to the plural costs, it creates a new mistake: the plural subject companies does not agree with the singular verb finds.

Incorrect.

This answer choice repeats the original mistake: the singular subject cost does not agree with the plural verb are.

[[snippet]]

Incorrect.

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

[[snippet]]
maintain their own employee catering services, many smaller companies find that the cost associated with maintaining
keep their own employee catering services, many smaller companies find that the cost associated with maintaining 
maintain their own employee catering services, many smaller companies finds the maintenance costs of
maintain their own employee catering services, many smaller companies find that the costs associated with the upkeep of
maintaining their own employee catering services, many smaller companies find that the costs associated with maintaining