SAT Writing : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #3 : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

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

It is always important for one to be alert when driving because you never know when another driver might come into your lane, or when a pedestrian might cross the street illegally. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

when 

you never know

always 

to be

Correct answer:

you never know

Explanation:

When a sentence uses "one" as a neutral third-person pronoun, the sentence should not then switch to using "you" instead of "one." Therefore, "you never know" contains the error in this sentence.

Example Question #4 : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

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

If you are being attacked, it is important not to provoke the other person because one never knows whether the attacker has weapons. No error

Possible Answers:

it is

are

other person

No error

one

Correct answer:

one

Explanation:

If a sentence is describing how “you” should behave, it creates discontinuity if it then begins to use the word “one” in place of "you" later in the sentence. Therefore, “one" should be replaced by the word “you" to correct the sentence's error.

Example Question #5 : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

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

When one is interviewed, it is important that you be articulate and present oneself well.  No error

Possible Answers:

it is

well

you

No error

is interviewed

Correct answer:

you

Explanation:

If a sentence is describing how “one” should behave, it creates discontinuity to then begin using the word “you" later in the sentence. Therefore, “you” should be replaced by the word “one" to fix the sentence's error.

Example Question #48 : Identifying Word Usage Errors

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

You should always make sure to have a first-aid kit in your car, because one never knows when it can be useful, or even save a life. No error

Possible Answers:

your car

should

No error

when

one

Correct answer:

one

Explanation:

If a sentence is describing how “you” should behave, it creates discontinuity to then begin using the word “one.” Therefore, “one” should be replaced by the word “you.”

 

Example Question #6 : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

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

When one prepares for a marathon, it is essential that you prepare an exercise routine and stick to itNo error

Possible Answers:

When

you

No error

it is

to it

Correct answer:

you

Explanation:

If a sentence is describing how “one” should behave, it creates discontinuity to then begin using the word “you.” Therefore, “you” should be replaced by the word “one,” or the sentence should be rewritten so that this discontinuity is resolved.

Example Question #7 : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

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

One might initially think that you understand the expression "I think therefore I am," but you might not fully understand it until you mull it over for a while. No error

Possible Answers:

 think

No error  

One

fully understand it until

understand

Correct answer:

One

Explanation:

The "one" and "you" need to be properly distinguished in this sentence; choose one to use, and stick with it. The sentence uses "you" throughout except for the first word, "One," so it could be corrected by changing this "One" to "You."

Example Question #51 : Identifying Word Usage Errors

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

After you play in the sand at the beach, it's very easy to get a lot of sand stuck in one's shoes. No error

Possible Answers:

a lot

you

No error

it's

stuck

Correct answer:

you

Explanation:

It is not grammatically correct to use both "you" and "one" as pronouns in the same sentence. As written, the sentence begins by using "you," but then changes to using "one" when it ends with the phrase "one's shoes." So, to correct the sentence's error, "you" should be changed to "one."

Example Question #52 : Identifying Word Usage Errors

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

One should never trust people who talk about others behind their backs, because you can safely assume they will do the same to you. No error

Possible Answers:

who talk

they will do

No Error

One should never

behind their backs

Correct answer:

One should never

Explanation:

The sentence starts off by using "one" as a pronoun, but then switches to using "you." In a single sentence, you should pick one of these pronouns to use and stick with it, and not change from using one to using the other in the middle of the sentence. To correct the sentence's error, you would need to change "One" to "You."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

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

If you plan to study physics in college, one should focus on taking science and math courses in high school. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

and

to study

one

taking

Correct answer:

one

Explanation:

When using "you" or "one" as the subject of a sentence, you need to be consistent. Because the first half of this sentence uses "you" as the subject, the second half must also use "you"—not "one."

Example Question #2 : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

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

If you want to eat at a new restaurant on a Saturday night, one must make reservations as soon as possible to avoid a lengthy wait. No error

Possible Answers:

lengthy

No error

one

want

on

Correct answer:

one

Explanation:

Sentences must consistently use either "you" or "one" as the subject, and because this sentence identifies "you" as the subject in the first clause, the second clause must also use "you" (not "one").

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