On SAT, you need to be able to identify the verbs before you can search for their subjects. Some students mistakenly think that fluctuating and swinging are verbs in this sentence. However, to fluctuate is called an infinitive (to hate, to run,…) and the swing is called a grind (run, cook, explode,…). You‘ve probably heard of infinitives in French-Spanish or Spanish teaching, where it‘s the root form of a verb before combining it. It‘s the same in English. Infinitive and Gerunds are not verbs, so there is no need to search for a subject-verb arrangement. The only real verb in this example is Likes. Again, tannes and infinities are never verbs. Don‘t waste time looking for their subjects. These last three examples show that the subject can appear according to the verb, something the SAT likes to trip up to the students.
To choose the right verb, we must first find the subject. Let‘s start by applying what was learned in a previous chapter and cross the preposition sentences: this is where we have to find the subjects for two verbs. Check the prepositionPhrase and the relative clause: The subject is a Nostun (person, place or thing) that is the “doer” or “main characteristic” in the sentence. A verb is a word of action. Think of the simple phrases above and how difficult it would be to have verbs that do not agree with the subject. You don‘t even need to know what the subject and verb of each sentence is to know that it‘s complicated. Now, the SAT isn‘t going to make it any easier for you. They will deliberately try to fool your ear. In example 19, the second was not necessary, as the first serves as a useful verb for going and discussing. If we inferred all the details of the sentence, he would read, I went and I spoke… which is a grammatically fine sentence. After all, the SAT likes to put more than one verb in the same sentence.
In this way, one of the verbs can be buried deeper in the sentence to deceive your ear. In these questions, divide the whole thing in half and make sure the two verbs match. Another question you might see is where the verb is in a sentence or clause that you would normally cross. For example, if you are not always sure that a verb as a show is singular or plural, test it by putting it in front and asking yourself what seems more accurate: you might think that the verb should be plural, because the phrase mentions both jewelry and cards, but because of the kommaphrase, the subject is only jewelry.