PSAT Writing : Correcting Subordinating Conjunction Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Correcting Subordinating Conjunction 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.

Teaching is a profession which can present many unforeseen challenges.

Possible Answers:

profession that can present

profession that may be presenting

profession, but can present

profession which can present

profession, that can present

Correct answer:

profession that can present

Explanation:

The comma is excessive and causes problems with the logic of the sentence. “Which” usually requires a comma before it and follows a fact, assertion, or statement. The sentence's use of "which" doesn't come after a comma, so it should be changed to "that."

Example Question #2 : Correcting Subordinating Conjunction 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.

The United States is one of just a few countries in the world which continues to use the British system of measurement.

Possible Answers:

which continues to use the british system of measurement.

which continues to use the British system of measurement.

which continues using the British system of measurement.

that continues to use the British system of measurement.

that continues using the british system of measurement.

Correct answer:

that continues to use the British system of measurement.

Explanation:

This sentence requires use of “that” because the United States is a country (e.g., a noun). Also, “British” must be capitalized because it is a nationality. 

Example Question #37 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

Because the giant squid is an elusive creature rarely seen by humans, scientists are beginning to gain a better understanding of the creature by studying it using remote cameras. 

Possible Answers:

Considering

Although 

Since

As

Because

Correct answer:

Although 

Explanation:

The sentence is trying to explain that in spite of the giant squid's elusiveness, scientists are finding new ways of studying it. The sentence therefore is trying to contrast two ideas, as opposed to showing causation with the word "because." The only answer choice that uses a contrasting conjunction is "Although," so it is the correct answer.

Example Question #11 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

Prisons are a relatively recent phenomenon in world history, because exorbitant costs.

Possible Answers:

because exorbitant costs.

because exorbitant costs of prisons.

because they have exorbitant costs.

exorbitant costs.

because exorbitant cost.

Correct answer:

because they have exorbitant costs.

Explanation:

The underlined phrase, a separate clause further explaining the first half of the sentence, does not work as a complet sentence. In order to appropriately fit after "because," the phrase needs to be turned into a complete thought. "Because they had exorbitant costs" is the best choice among the answers.

Example Question #3 : Correcting Subordinate Conjunction 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.

Some prescription drugs can produce dangerous interactions when combined with other chemicals, and you should always tell your physician about any medications you take at home.

Possible Answers:

although you should always tell your physician about any medications you take at home.

so you should always tell your physician about any medications you take at home.

and you should always be telling your physician about any medications you take at home.

but you should always tell your physician about any medications you take at home.

and you should always tell your physician about any medications you take at home.

Correct answer:

so you should always tell your physician about any medications you take at home.

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in its logic of cause and effect. The first part of the sentence is the reason for the advice offered in the second part. So, you should change "and" to a word that demonstrates the cause-and-effect relationship. Do not add a contrast word like "but" or "although" unless the sentence includes some sort of contradiction or opposition.

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