PSAT Writing : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #84 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

Horses, once trained, take quite well to being harnessed, saddled, and riding.

Possible Answers:

being harnesing, saddling, and riding.

been harnessed, saddled, and riding.

being harnessed, saddled, and ridden.

being harnessed, saddled, and riding.

be harnessed, saddled, and riding.

Correct answer:

being harnessed, saddled, and ridden.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is incorrect, as any series needs to have a parallel structure, where all elements of the series are written in the same form. "Being harnessed, saddled, and ridden" is the only answer choice that is both correct grammatically and parallel in structure.

Example Question #82 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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 success of the one-handed touchdown catch was more a result of good luck than by skillful play.

Possible Answers:

luck being good than because of play being skillful

good luck than of skillful play

good luck than because of skillful play

luck being good than by play being skillful

good luck than by skillful play

Correct answer:

good luck than of skillful play

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in parallelism. Specifically, it compares "of good luck" to "by skillful play." The prepositions used in these phrases should match because they are being compared—"more a result of X than by Y" doesn't treat format each item in a consistent manner. The only answer choice that fixes this issue is "good luck than of skillful play," making the corrected sentence "The success of the one-handed touchdown catch was more a result of good luck than of skillful play."

Example Question #85 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

Most people, even highly skilled craftsman, are not excellent at designing, building, and maintenance of a house.

Possible Answers:

designing, building, and maintaining a house.

designing, build, and maintenance of a house.

designing building and maintaining a house.

designing, building, and maintenance of a house.

designing building and maintenance of a house.

Correct answer:

designing, building, and maintaining a house.

Explanation:

Any list like the one in the underlined portion of the sentence needs to have a parallel structure in their word forms, which the sentence does not have as written. Each item in such a list also needs to be separated by commas; therefore, the correct answer choice is "designing, building, and maintaining a house."

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