Sentence Correction


A summary of both the Uniform Crime Reports of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the victimization reports for the last decade show that while the number of police reports of serious crime has risen steadily, the number of victims of crime remains about the same.

(A) show that while the number of

(B) show while

(C) shows that while

(D) shows while the number

(E) shows that while the number


The error in this sentence is the non-agreement in number between the subject and predicate. The subject of the given sentence is the singular noun ‘summary’ while the predicate is the plural verb ‘show’. So there is a fundamental grammatical error in this sentence which needs to be corrected.

The phrase ‘a summary of both…’ in the beginning of the sentence shows that ‘the victimization reports’ occurring latter in the sentence is governed by the singular noun ‘summary’, and is not an independent subject of the sentence which could justify a plural predicate.

Having recognized the error in the given sentence, we can rule out (A) as the answer.

Remember that you must assume that there is no error in the non-underlined part of the given sentence. Since the subject ‘summary’ is in non-underlined part and the predicate ‘show’ is in the underlined part, it is only the predicate that needs to be changed, not the subject.

Looking at the other choices, we can straightaway eliminate (B) because it also contains the same plural verb ‘show’. We need not waste time reading (B) fully.

(C) corrects this error, and is worth being examined further. The version in this case will be ‘…shows that while police reports of serious crime has risen steadily…’. This version introduces another error- the plural subject ‘reports’ being followed by a singular predicate ‘has risen’. So, (C) is not the answer.

(D) does not have either of these two errors we saw in the first three choices, but it lacks the required conjunction ‘that’ after the verb ‘show’. So (D) can be eliminated.

(E) completes a grammatical and meaningful sentence, and is the answer.

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