PSAT Writing : Correcting Noun-Noun Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Correcting Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Dogs, unlike many types of birds, usually do not stay with their mate for life.

Possible Answers:

do not stay with they’re mates for life

do not stay with their mates for life

do not stay with there mate for life

do not stay with their mate for life

do not stay with there mates for life

Correct answer:

do not stay with their mates for life

Explanation:

Since we are talking about "dogs" (plural), they must have "mates" (plural). Also, “their” is the possessive form of “they.” “There” denotes a place, and “they’re” is the contraction of “they are.”

Example Question #2 : Correcting Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

I hate wearing my shoes when they are wet; it squeaks and squishes when I walk. 

Possible Answers:

it squeaky and squishy when I walk. 

they squeaks and squishes when I walk. 

it squeak and squish when I walk. 

they squeak and squish when I walk. 

it squeaks and squishes when I walk. 

Correct answer:

they squeak and squish when I walk. 

Explanation:

Because the pronoun in the next sentence is describing the "shoes," plural, the pronoun must be the plural "they." The verbs must also then follow the plural form "squeak and squish," making the correct answer "they squeak and squish when I walk." Note that a semicolon is correctly used to separate the two independent clauses making up this sentence, and also note that since the two clauses are combined into one sentence, the pronouns must remain consistent within that sentence, even though each clause is independent.

 

 

Example Question #3 : Correcting Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

When I moved out of town, all of my classmates gave me a suggestion for how to make friends in my new school.

Possible Answers:

give me a suggestion for how to make friends

give me suggestions for how to make friends

gave me a suggestion for how to make friends

gave me suggestions for how to make friends

giving me suggestions for how to make friends

Correct answer:

gave me suggestions for how to make friends

Explanation:

The plural "classmates" were suggesting, so he had to receive plural "suggestions." Also, since he "moved" (past tense) we have to say that the classmates "gave" (past tense) the suggestions. This means the correct answer is "gave me suggestions for how to make friends."

Example Question #4 : Correcting Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

To Timmy, the best part of science fiction movies are the special effects.

Possible Answers:

To Timmy, the best parts of science fiction movies is the special effects.   

The best part of science fiction movies, the special effects are, to Timmy.

To Timmy, the best part of science fiction movies are the special effects.

To Timmy, the best part of science fiction movies is the special effects.   

To Timmy, the best parts of science fiction movie is the special effects.   

Correct answer:

To Timmy, the best part of science fiction movies is the special effects.   

Explanation:

"To Timmy, the best part of science fiction movies is the special effects."

This is the only correct answer because the subject ("part") agrees in number with the verb ("is"). Do not be misled by the plural "movies"; it is not the subject.

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