PSAT Writing : Correcting Verb Mood Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Correcting Verb Mood 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.

I would make it a priority to visit Rome if I was able to travel to Europe.

Possible Answers:

if I was able of traveling to Europe

if I was able traveling to Europe

if I was able to travel to Europe

if I were able of traveling to Europe

 if I were able to travel to Europe

Correct answer:

 if I were able to travel to Europe

Explanation:

To talk about a hypothetical situation, you must use a verb that employs the subjunctive mood—"if I were" instead of "if I was," in the case of this specific sentence. “I was” is the simple past tense.

Example Question #2 : Correcting Verb Mood 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.

Victory is the ultimate goal of any general, but too precise a focus can clouds a leader's judgement.

Possible Answers:

can clouds a leader's judgement.

can cloud a leaders judgement.

can cloud a leader's judgement.

can clouds leader's judgement.

can clouds a leader's judgements.

Correct answer:

can cloud a leader's judgement.

Explanation:

The phrase underlined in the sentence uses the modal verb "can," which conditions what might happen in the future. The verb form "clouds" is incorrect as the verb after "can" still needs to feature the singular form necessary with the subject "focus." "Can cloud a leader's judgement" is the best choice among the answer.

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