PSAT Writing : Correcting Ambiguity and Redundancy Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #344 : 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.

Having been seen as that which was what was most problematic, the item was left off the table for discussion.

Possible Answers:

Having seen what was most problematic

Having been seen as that which was what was most problematic

Being seen as what was most problematic

Having being seen as that which was what was most problematic

Having been seen as that which was most problematic

Correct answer:

Being seen as what was most problematic

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the phrase is extremely wordy and confusing, and it needs to be simplified. Any simplification needs to both retain the sentence's intended meaning and remain grammatically correct. "Being seen as what was most problematic" is the answer choice that best simplifies the phrase.

Example Question #345 : 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.

Working toward what was that thing which he had always dreamed, the apprentice rarely slept.

Possible Answers:

Working was that thing which he was his dream

Working toward what was that thing which was his dream

Working toward what was he had dreamed

Working toward what that was the thing he dreamed

Working toward his dream

Correct answer:

Working toward his dream

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is extremely awkward and overly wordy, meaning it must be simplified. While being simplified, though, the sentence needs to retain its intended meaning and remain grammatically correct. "Working toward his dream" is the answer choice that best accomplishes both goals.

Example Question #346 : 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.

That which was what was having been agreed upon was then acted out by both sides.

Possible Answers:

That which was having been agreed upon was then acted out by both sides.

What was agreed upon was then acted out by both sides.

That which was what was having been agreed upon was then acted out by both sides.

That was having been agreed upon was then acted out by both sides.

That which was what was having been agreed upon was acted by both sides.

Correct answer:

What was agreed upon was then acted out by both sides.

Explanation:

The sentence is overwrought and awkwardly worded, and it needs to be simplified. Any simplification, though, must retain the sentence's intended meaning and be grammatically correct. The answer choice which best simplifies the sentence is "What was agreed upon was then acted out by both sides."

Example Question #347 : 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.

Being that which was the sole thing that was the subject of discussion, that issue took up most of the meeting as people debated it.

Possible Answers:

Being the sole subject of discussion,

Being which was the sole subject of discussion,

Being that which was under discussion, 

Being that which was the sole thing that was the subject of discussion,

That sole thing which was being discussed,

Correct answer:

Being the sole subject of discussion,

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is extrmely overwrought, meaning it desperately needs to be simplified. While being simplified, however, the sentence still needs to have its original intended meaning and be grammatically correct. The only answer choice that correctly does both while simplifying is "Being the sole subject of discussion."

Example Question #348 : 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.

That being what was the thing that was most important, a discussion of fiscal policy took up most of the meeting and allowed no time for the discussion of other topics.

Possible Answers:

That being what was was most important 

Being was most important

That being what was the thing that was most important 

Being the most important thing

That being most important 

Correct answer:

Being the most important thing

Explanation:

The sentence is overly wordy and confusing, and should be simplified to clarify its meaning. A simplification, though, needs to both be grammatically correct and retain the sentence's intended meaning. The answer choice that best accomplishes both goals while simplifying the sentence is "Being the most important thing."

Example Question #191 : 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.

The new minister was exactly that which was what was being desired by the whole congregation.

Possible Answers:

that was what being desired by the whole congregation.

that which was being desired by the whole congregation.

what the whole congregation desired.

that the whole congregation desiring.

that which was what was being desired by the whole congregation.

Correct answer:

what the whole congregation desired.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is extrmely overwrought an confusing, meaning it needs to be simplified. A simplification needs to retain the sentence's intended meaning and be grammatically correct. The answer choice which best simplifes the sentence is "what the whole congregation desired."

Example Question #192 : 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.

Having been seen to be somewhat near the celebrity, the young woman become a tabloid sensation.

Possible Answers:

Having been seen to be somewhat near celebrity

Having being seen to be somewhat near the celebrity

Having been seen to be somewhat near the celebrity

Being seen somewhat near the celebrity

Having been seen somewhat near the celebrity

Correct answer:

Being seen somewhat near the celebrity

Explanation:

The underlined phrase is repetitive and confusing, and needs to be simplified. While being simplified, however, the sentence still needs to be grammatically correct and retain its intended meaning. "Being seen somewhat near celebrity" is the only answer choice that correctly simplifies the sentence while meeting both of these conditions.

Example Question #41 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy 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.

People spend a lifetime trying to finding happiness of life.

Possible Answers:

finding happiness of life

to find happiness.

to finding happiness of life.

to finding happiness in life.

to find happiness of life.

Correct answer:

to find happiness.

Explanation:

The underlined phrase is extremely awkwardly worded, and can be cleaned up quite easily. "To find happiness" is the cleanest expression of the sentiment of the phrase's meaning.

Example Question #42 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy 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.

Under agreements that were negotiated by those that were at the table, all parties had to give something up in the deal.

Possible Answers:

Under agreements were negotiated were at the table,

Under agreements that were negotiated by those that were at the table,

Under agreements that were negotiating by those that were being at the table,

Under the agreements negotiated by those that were at the table,

Under agreements negotiated by those at the table,

Correct answer:

Under agreements negotiated by those at the table,

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is overly wordy and strangely complicated, and the sentence must be simplified. While being simplified, though, the sentence should keep its same meaning and remain grammatically correct. "Under agreements negotiated by those at the table" is the answer choice that best accomplishes both of these tasks.

Example Question #43 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy 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.

Authors often find struggle when attempting to provide details of their characters' appearances.

Possible Answers:

find struggle attempting to provide

struggles when attempting to provide

find struggle when attempting to provide

struggle when attempting to provide

find a struggle of attempting providing

Correct answer:

struggle when attempting to provide

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is both awkwardly phrased and unclear in its meaning. The word choices need to be cleaned up to appropriately convey the meaning of the sentence. "Struggle when attempting to provide" gives the same meaning as "find struggle when attempting to provide" in a more straightforward manner, and is the best choice among the answers.

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