HiSET: Language Arts - Writing : Verb, pronoun, and modifier forms

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for HiSET: Language Arts - Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Verb, Pronoun, And Modifier Forms

Jimmy is annoyed at the video game that he was playing. For one thing, there was not nearly enough interesting characters suspenseful moments or exciting escapes in the game to satisfy him. For another, it was incredibly hard while playing the game to control the cars. It always wanted to veer to the left when he tried to steer to the right. But the ending of the game was worst. By the time he got to the end, the hero had decided to stop chasing rogue spies and therefore marry his girlfriend, a surprise attack resulted in her being kidnapped, and the hero must go on a final mission to save her before the game can be completed. That would of been fine, except it involved tracking the enemy using a helicopter, and Jimmy much to his chagrin never mastered flying the helicopter.

What is the best form of the bolded and underlined section?

Possible Answers:

was deciding

is deciding

(no change)

decided

Correct answer:

(no change)

Explanation:

The video game hero's decision is made in the past of other past events in the game, so the past perfect form ("had decided") is appropriate here. None of the other answers provided were possibly correct.

Example Question #2 : Verb, Pronoun, And Modifier Forms

Jimmy is annoyed at the video game that he was playing. For one thing, there was not nearly enough interesting characters suspenseful moments or exciting escapes in the game to satisfy him. For another, it was incredibly hard while playing the game to control the cars. It always wanted to veer to the left when he tried to steer to the right. But the ending of the game was worst. By the time he got to the end, the hero had decided to stop chasing rogue spies and therefore marry his girlfriend, a surprise attack resulted in her being kidnapped, and the hero must go on a final mission to save her before the game can be completed. That would of been fine, except it involved tracking the enemy using a helicopter, and Jimmy much to his chagrin never mastered flying the helicopter.

Choose the option that best corrects the bolded and underlined section of the text.

Possible Answers:

could be

will be

(no change)

could have been

Correct answer:

could be

Explanation:

The phrase "could be" signals the necessity of getting through the mission to finish the game and the past tense of the action. "Before the game could be completed" could also be phrased: "before the game could possibly be completed," without altering the meaning at all (but maybe making the phrase redundant).

Example Question #3 : Verb, Pronoun, And Modifier Forms

Jimmy is annoyed at the video game that he was playing. For one thing, there was not nearly enough interesting characters suspenseful moments or exciting escapes in the game to satisfy him. For another, it was incredibly hard while playing the game to control the cars. It always wanted to veer to the left when he tried to steer to the right. But the ending of the game was worst. By the time he got to the end, the hero had decided to stop chasing rogue spies and therefore marry his girlfriend, a surprise attack resulted in her being kidnapped, and the hero must go on a final mission to save her before the game can be completed. That would of been fine, except it involved tracking the enemy using a helicopter, and Jimmy much to his chagrin never mastered flying the helicopter.

Choose the option that best corrects the bolded and underlined section of the text.

Possible Answers:

(no change)

will have to go

is forced to go

had to go

Correct answer:

had to go

Explanation:

The phrase "had to go" both signals the video game hero's lack of choice about his final mission and the past tense of the action. None of the other provided answers make grammatical or logical sense.

Example Question #4 : Verb, Pronoun, And Modifier Forms

(1) Jana and I studied for our Physics exam together yesterday. We had both been struggling with the course, so our teacher urged the two of us to work together. Our professor told (2) Jana and I that there were reference materials in the library. I was not surprised, because the library was full of books for students who needed them. (no error)

Identify the answer choice which corresponds to a grammatical error.

Possible Answers:

who needed them.

(1) Jana and I

the two of us

(2) Jana and I

(no error)

Correct answer:

(2) Jana and I

Explanation:

The word "I" is a pronoun and must be used as the subject of a sentence. When the person in question (to whom "I" refers) is used as the object of the sentence, the proper pronoun is "me". In the sentence "Our professor told (2) Jana and I that there were reference materials in the library," the professor is the subject of the sentence because he is the pronoun that corresponds to the verb "told". As such, Jana and the speaker are both objects of the action verb "to tell". Because both Jana and the speaker are objects, the phrase should have read: "Our professor told Jana and me".

Example Question #5 : Verb, Pronoun, And Modifier Forms

1    The recruitment of elite athletes by American universities has recently reached new levels of both sophistication and it is very competitive. The benefits of having top-quality athletic programs are obvious: massive television revenues, marketing deals with major corporate sponsors, and increased alumni donations.  However, the desire to achieve these riches led many colleges to sanction practices that are both ethically and legally questionable.

2    Colleges have traditionally made allowances in their admission standards for athletes who might not have otherwise been academically qualified.  In recent years, however, several cases of outright academic fraud have been uncovered at major American universities.  These include fraudulent transcripts, fictitious online coursework, and the increasingly common practice of having a star athlete repeat a grade or two in order to achieve a higher grade point average.

3  The recruitment of potential college athletes is also starting at a much earlier age as it was before.  Some football and basketball players have been given scholarship offers before they enroll in high school.  The presence of various types of social media also plays a large role in the recruiting process.  Of course, the offers are non-binding, and oftentimes, the athletes in question do not actually attend the school at all.

4.  It would be a good idea for the leaders of American universities to remind themselves of the academic mission of their institutions before they allow the pursuit of money and fame  to corrupt them.  Success on the playing fields is a noble goal, but not if it comes at the cost ignoring the true purpose of higher education.

What is the best choice to replace the bolded and underlined word?

Possible Answers:

has led

leads

have led

are leading

Correct answer:

has led

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence, "desire" is singular, thus eliminating "have lead" and "are leading" as answer choices. The sentence describes a past action that is ongoing, making the present perfect verb tense, "has led" the correct choice.

Example Question #6 : Verb, Pronoun, And Modifier Forms

1    The recruitment of elite athletes by American universities has recently reached new levels of both sophistication and it is very competitive. The benefits of having top-quality athletic programs are obvious: massive television revenues, marketing deals with major corporate sponsors, and increased alumni donations.  However, the desire to achieve these riches led many colleges to sanction practices that are both ethically and legally questionable.

2    Colleges have traditionally made allowances in their admission standards for athletes who might not have otherwise been academically qualified.  In recent years, however, several cases of outright academic fraud have been uncovered at major American universities.  These include fraudulent transcripts, fictitious online coursework, and the increasingly common practice of having a star athlete repeat a grade or two in order to achieve a higher grade point average.

3  The recruitment of potential college athletes is also starting at a much earlier age as it was before.  Some football and basketball players have been given scholarship offers before they enroll in high school.  The presence of various types of social media also plays a large role in the recruiting process.  Of course, the offers are non-binding, and oftentimes, the athletes in question do not actually attend the school at all.

4.  It would be a good idea for the leaders of American universities to remind themselves of the academic mission of their institutions before they allow the pursuit of money and fame  to corrupt them.  Success on the playing fields is a noble goal, but not if it comes at the cost ignoring the true purpose of higher education.

Which choice best replaces the bolded and underlined word?

Possible Answers:

which

they

(no change)

whom

Correct answer:

(no change)

Explanation:

Since the pronoun is being used as the subject of a restrictive clause, "who" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #7 : Verb, Pronoun, And Modifier Forms

1    The recruitment of elite athletes by American universities has recently reached new levels of both sophistication and it is very competitive. The benefits of having top-quality athletic programs are obvious: massive television revenues, marketing deals with major corporate sponsors, and increased alumni donations.  However, the desire to achieve these riches led many colleges to sanction practices that are both ethically and legally questionable.

2    Colleges have traditionally made allowances in their admission standards for athletes who might not have otherwise been academically qualified.  In recent years, however, several cases of outright academic fraud have been uncovered at major American universities.  These include fraudulent transcripts, fictitious online coursework, and the increasingly common practice of having a star athlete repeat a grade or two in order to achieve a higher grade point average.

3  The recruitment of potential college athletes is also starting at a much earlier age as it was before.  Some football and basketball players have been given scholarship offers before they enroll in high school.  The presence of various types of social media also plays a large role in the recruiting process.  Of course, the offers are non-binding, and oftentimes, the athletes in question do not actually attend the school at all.

4.  It would be a good idea for the leaders of American universities to remind themselves of the academic mission of their institutions before they allow the pursuit of money and fame  to corrupt them.  Success on the playing fields is a noble goal, but not if it comes at the cost ignoring the true purpose of higher education.

Which choice best replaces the bolded and underlined phrase?

Possible Answers:

corrupt it.

(no change)

be corrupted by it.

corrupting them.

Correct answer:

corrupt it.

Explanation:

The antecedent for this pronoun is "academic mission", which is singular. Thus, "it" is the correct pronoun in this sentence.

Example Question #8 : Verb, Pronoun, And Modifier Forms

After attending a performance of a local jazz band, a blogger wrote the following article.

1 The Mahoney Performing Arts Center played host to a truly inspiring performance by the William Eastwood Quintet last Saturday evening.  Although Mr. Eastwood and his fellow musicians have a songbook comprised solely of jazz standards, many of them are over 50 years old, the Quintet breathes new life into each song they play. The works of jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington were certainly in competent hands throughout the two-hour performance.

2 Eastwood departed from jazz tradition by beginning his set with a ballad, You Must Believe In Spring.  While this choice meant that the audience was not as energetic as it might be had he chosen a more upbeat number, it also gave listeners a chance to appreciate the outstanding interplay between the members of the Quintet.  Audience members who wanted to snap their fingers or clap along with the beat were rewarded by several livelier songs in the middle of the performance, climaxing with an incendiary rendition of Gillespie’s classic, Salt Peanuts.

3While the focus of the show was clearly the outstanding saxophone playing of the band’s leader, Eastwood gave ample opportunities for his fellow musicians to shine.  In particular, pianist Devon Semien, who took the spotlight for a 5 minute solo during the classic Body and Soul.The entire band were in synch throughout the performance, signaling that William Eastwood is going to a force in the jazz world for years to come.

Which choice best replaces the bolded and underlined phrase?

Possible Answers:

many of which

(no change)

many

many of these

Correct answer:

many of which

Explanation:

The sentence features a subordinate clause, linked to a main clause, with the underlined portion in between. Thus, any answer choice that is a main clause would create a run on sentence. "Many of which" is the appropriate restrictive clause in this sentence.

Example Question #9 : Verb, Pronoun, And Modifier Forms

After attending a performance of a local jazz band, a blogger wrote the following article.

1 The Mahoney Performing Arts Center played host to a truly inspiring performance by the William Eastwood Quintet last Saturday evening.  Although Mr. Eastwood and his fellow musicians have a songbook comprised solely of jazz standards, many of them are over 50 years old, the Quintet breathes new life into each song they play. The works of jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington were certainly in competent hands throughout the two-hour performance.

2 Eastwood departed from jazz tradition by beginning his set with a ballad, You Must Believe In Spring.  While this choice meant that the audience was not as energetic as it might be had he chosen a more upbeat number, it also gave listeners a chance to appreciate the outstanding interplay between the members of the Quintet.  Audience members who wanted to snap their fingers or clap along with the beat were rewarded by several livelier songs in the middle of the performance, climaxing with an incendiary rendition of Gillespie’s classic, Salt Peanuts.

3 While the focus of the show was clearly the outstanding saxophone playing of the band’s leader, Eastwood gave ample opportunities for his fellow musicians to shine.  In particular, pianist Devon Semien, who took the spotlight for a 5 minute solo during the classic Body and Soul.The entire band were in synch throughout the performance, signaling that William Eastwood is going to a force in the jazz world for years to come.

Which answer choice best replaces the bolded and underlined phrase?

Possible Answers:

it plays.

(no change)

they are playing.

played by them.

played by the Quintet.

Correct answer:

it plays.

Explanation:

"Quintet" is a collective noun; therefore, it requires both a singular predicate and a singular pronoun.

Repeating the phrase "the Quintet" twice in one sentence creates a sentence that is both wordy and redundant.

Example Question #10 : Verb, Pronoun, And Modifier Forms

Harrison had math test last Wednesday. He studied really well and thought that he did really good. When he walked into school today, Harrison’s teacher looked at him strangely. Harrison started to sweat, because he assumed the teacher’s expression meant he did poorly on the test. Harrison began to wonder wear he went wrong. The teacher walks around the room and handed out the graded assessments. Then the teacher, who had been walking around the room, paused in front of Harrison’s desk, and Harrison thought that he must of performed worst on the test than the rest of the class had. Then, to Harrison’s surprise, the teacher smiled, exclaiming that Harrison had scored one hundred percent.  

What is the best way to correct the bolded and underlined section of the passage above?

Possible Answers:

Harrison had some math test

Harrison would have had a math test

Harrison took math test

Harrison had a math test 

Harrison had math test (no change)

Correct answer:

Harrison had a math test 

Explanation:

The problem with the phrasing as originally stated in the passage is that the noun "math test" lacks an appropriate article (the, a, an, etc), which must precede a singular noun. Because of this error, the phrase must be changed in order to be grammatically appropriate. The answer choice "Harrison had some math test" is incorrect because the word "some" describes a plural noun. The word "test" is not plural, so these terms do not agree. The answer choice "Harrison took math test" has the same error as the original in its lack of an article. The choice "Harrison's math test" does not fit into the sentence, because by removing the verb, the sentence becomes a fragment. The answer choice "Harrison would have had a math test" is inconsistent with the rest of the passage because it is in the conditional tense (indicated by "would") and implies that Harrison did not actually complete the math test. As such, the answer choice "Harrison had a math test" is correct.

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