PSAT Writing : Identifying Noun-Noun Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Chastised by their teacher for their unacceptable behavior, all of the students returned sheepishly to their desk. No error.

Possible Answers:

Chastised

desk

for their unacceptable behavior

No error.

sheepishly

Correct answer:

desk

Explanation:

In this sentence, there are multiple students who (presumably) have multiple desks. “Desk,” therefore, needs to be plural. The corrected sentence reads, "Chastised by their teacher for their unacceptable behavior, all of the students returned sheepishly to their desks."

Example Question #2 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Suzy and Joe entered the county's fair and won the first and second place prizeNo error.

Possible Answers:

fair and

first and second place

prize

county's

No error.

Correct answer:

prize

Explanation:

This sentence refers to two prizes, first and second place. The noun "prize" should therefore be plural. The corrected sentence reads, "Suzy and Joe entered the county's fair and won the first and second place prizes."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

All four of Martha’s children became a varsity athlete in high school; she was incredibly proud of her family. No error

Possible Answers:

was

All four

proud of

a varsity athelete

No error

Correct answer:

a varsity athelete

Explanation:

Given that Martha has four children, the number of athletes should be plural. Therefore, “a varsity athlete” should be “varsity athletes."

Example Question #2 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Two out of four teenagers who become addicted to drugs will go on to become a high school dropout. No error

Possible Answers:

out of 

who 

will

a high school dropout

No error

Correct answer:

a high school dropout

Explanation:

Given that this sentence is talking about the fate of “two out of four teenagers,” multiple teenagers are being referred to. Therefore, “a high school dropout” should also be plural, and therefore read, “high school dropouts.”

Example Question #2 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

All of my classmates wanted to become a singer when they grew up, except for me. No error

Possible Answers:

a singer

wanted to

All of 

No error

except

Correct answer:

a singer

Explanation:

There are multiple classmates described in the sentence. Therefore, there should also be multiple (or plural) singers. However, the word here is the singular, “singer,” which is incorrect.

Example Question #3 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

I despise the chores that my mother asks me to do, but the act of pairing socks is by far the most tedious tasksNo error

Possible Answers:

No error

is

tasks

asks

but

Correct answer:

tasks

Explanation:

In the clause "the act of pairing socks is by far the most tedious tasks," "act" and "tasks" are referring to the same thing, so "task" must be singular like "act" is. "Tasks" is plural and is therefore incorrect.

Example Question #4 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Polydactyl cats can have seven toes on each feet, a fact that makes me wonder whether the extra digits make it easier for them to scratch things. No error

Possible Answers:

seven toes

No error

easier

that makes me wonder whether

feet

Correct answer:

feet

Explanation:

The sentence uses the phrase "seven toes on each feet," and this is incorrect because "each" is used to describe a singular noun, but "feet" is plural. Changing "feet" to "foot" corrects this error.

Example Question #5 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Bob and Frank won the prize for first and second place in the elementary school baking contestNo error

Possible Answers:

the prize

No error

elementary school baking contest

won

in

Correct answer:

the prize

Explanation:

This sentence refers to two prizes, first and second, for two people, Bob and Frank. The plural noun "prizes" should be used. The corrected sentence reads, "Bob and Frank won the prizes for first and second place in the elementary school baking contest."

Example Question #7 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Lewis and Clark, the now legendary explorers of the Louisiana Purchase, were chosen for their scientific knowledge and skills as a frontiersmanNo error

Possible Answers:

No error

skills as a frontiersman

legendary

their

were chosen

Correct answer:

skills as a frontiersman

Explanation:

This sentence has a discrepancy in number. Lewis and Clark are two different people, so they are two different frontiersmen. The corrected sentence reads: "Lewis and Clark, the now legendary explorers of the Louisiana Purchase, were chosen for their scientific knowledge and skills as frontiersmen."

Example Question #3 : Identifying Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

All three of the pumpkins that Gerald entered into the contest became a top-ten winner; needless to say, he was thrilledNo error

Possible Answers:

that

was thrilled

a top-ten winner

entered into

No error

Correct answer:

a top-ten winner

Explanation:

In this sentence, there is a discrepancy in number. There are three pumpkins, so there should be multiple winners. The corrected sentence reads: "All three of the pumpkins that Gerald entered into the contest became top-ten winners; needless to say, he was thrilled."

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