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Current time:0:00Total duration:3:35

Noun agreement | Worked example

Video transcript

- [Instructor] In the early 20th century when Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso each painted portraits of their friend and benefactor Gertrude Stein, the two painters used a very different artistic approach to portraying the woman. Alright, error ID. So the first thing I wanna do is I wanna take out these prepositional phrases, in the early 20th century, and of their friend and benefactor Gertrude Stein. Each of these contains important information for the sentence, but it doesn't really affect the mechanics of the sentence. Alright, with that out of the way. So now the sentence is, When Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso each painted portraits, the two painters used a very different artistic approach to portraying the woman. Now, this makes less sense with that removed, right? What does the woman refer to? Gertrude Stein. In fact, looking at that, we can just say, okay, the woman, that's the same as Gertrude Stein, each of these two things is singular. That's fine, we see agreement there. Let's go back up to the top. So, when Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso each painted portraits. And then there is a comma here. So, when is being used to set off a dependent clause. When Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso each painted portraits, comma, the two painters used a very different artistic approach to portraying the woman. This checks out. A comma is correctly used to separate this dependent clause from this independent clause. The two painters used approach. So, I'm gonna say when isn't an error. Painted, since we know from this part that we crossed off, that this takes place in the early 20th century. We've got this takes place in the past. This also takes place in the past tense. So, it matches the time period of the sentence. So, painted is correct. So, that's not an error. Why don't we just cross off everything else in this sentence, now that we've established that? We've just got this one clause left, this one smaller sentence inside the sentence. The two painters used a very different artistic approach to portraying the woman. Is this an error, or is there no error? Well, I say there's an error, because there's a noun agreement problem here. Compare the example of the dogs wagged their tail, right? And there's no S here. And there is an S here, so this is plural and this is singular. Dogs tend to have tails, it seems strange that multiple dogs would only have one tail between them. The same thing is true of the word approach. And you don't need to have seen Matisse's and Picasso's paintings of Gertrude Stein to know that two different artists would have two different approaches. So, approach doesn't agree with two painters. Or the context of them being very different. So, I'm gonna say that C is our error. And if we were tasked with fixing this sentence, I would change it to approaches, not approach. And take out A. So, the two painters used very different approaches to portraying the woman. With an underline like this, with an underline like the one have in option C, you have to pay attention to the other nouns in the sentence. So, does it make sense for multiple painters to each have one approach on separate paintings? Does it make sense for multiple dogs to have a single tail between them? So, there is an error, we're gonna cross that off. C is our answer.