PSAT Writing : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #23 : 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 new organization needed people who could write, sell, and marketing their products.

Possible Answers:

who could writing, sell, and marketing their products.

who could write, sell, and market their products.

who could write, sell, and in marketing their products.

who could write, sell, and marketing their products.

who could write, selling, and marketing their products.

Correct answer:

who could write, sell, and market their products.

Explanation:

The list contained in the underlined portion of the sentence features unlike elements, meaning that the verb describes unlike objects. The list needs to feature a parallel structure of elements that each have the same tense and word form. The only answer choice that features a correct parallel structure is "who could write, sell, and market their products."

Example Question #21 : Correcting Other 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.

Whether or not a protest was made, every decision was either reviewed or debating by the committee.

Possible Answers:

either reviewed or debating in the committee.

either be reviewed or debating by the committee.

either reviewed or debating by a committee.

either reviewed or debated by the committee.

either reviewed or debating by the committee.

Correct answer:

either reviewed or debated by the committee.

Explanation:

In any "either . . . or" phrase, the elements compared must be of the same type, so that an equal comparison can be made. In the sentence, "reviewed" and "debating" do not follow such a parallel structure, because "reviewed" is a past tense verb while "debating" is a present participle. The only answer choice that employs parallel structure correctly is "either reviewed or debated by the committee."

Example Question #52 : 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.

His management style was to always be remarkably energetic, neither too intense nor too calming.

Possible Answers:

neither too intense, nor too calming.

neither too intense nor too calm.

neither too intense or too calming.

neither too intense nor too calmed.

neither too intensely nor too calming.

Correct answer:

neither too intense nor too calm.

Explanation:

"Intense" and "calming" are two different parts of speech, but are joined in the same "neither...nor" phrase. In any such phrase, the two items described must have a parallel structure. The only answer choice with a parallel structure is "neither too intense nor too calm."

Example Question #31 : 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 boys had to choose either playing with the new video game or to run outside.

Possible Answers:

either playing with the new video game or to be run outside. 

either playing with a new video game or to run outside. 

either playing with the new video game, or to run outside. 

either playing with the new video game or running outside. 

either playing with the new video game or to run outside. 

Correct answer:

either playing with the new video game or running outside. 

Explanation:

Any "either...or" construction has to feature a parallel structure that includes each item given, and this sentence uses a gerund and an infinitive. The two forms must be the same to be grammatically correct. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "either playing with the new video game or running outside."

Example Question #91 : 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.

From a young age, she enjoyed outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, and her kayak.

Possible Answers:

like hiking, climbing, and her kayak.

such as hiking, climbing, and her kayak.

like hiking climbing and her kayak.

like hiking, to climb, and her kayak.

like hiking, climbing, and kayaking.

Correct answer:

like hiking, climbing, and kayaking.

Explanation:

The list featured in the underlined portion of the sentence contains unlike items (two gerunds and one straightforward noun) as its objects. A list that forms the objects of the sentence must feature a parallel structure, so that the verb is describing similar objects. The only answer choice with the correct parallel structure is "like hiking, climbing, and kayaking."

Example Question #61 : 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 veteran favored his left leg because of an old war injury in his right leg that never healed properly or settling well.

Possible Answers:

that never healed properly or settled well.

that ever healed properly or settling well.

that never healed properly nor settling well.

that never healed properly or settling well.

that never healing properly or settled well.

Correct answer:

that never healed properly or settled well.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence features an "or" phrase with two different kind of verb phrases as the final elements of a dependent clause. The phrase actually needs to feature a parallel structure among its two parts. The only answer choice with a proper parallel structure is "that never healed properly or settled well."

Example Question #92 : 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.

As a ballplayer, he was creative, imaginative, and worked hard.

Possible Answers:

creatively, imaginative, and worked hard.

creative, imaginative, and he worked hard.

creatively, imaginatively, and worked hard.

creative, imaginative, and worked hard.

creative, imaginative, and hard working.

Correct answer:

creative, imaginative, and hard working.

Explanation:

The list contained in the underlined portion of the sentence has three items with three different forms: two adjectives and a verbal phrase. Any such list needs to have a parallel structure, where all three items are similar. The only answer choice to feature such a parallel structure is "creative, imaginative, and hard working," in which "hard working" is a participle.

Example Question #31 : 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 obstacle course was fun for the new recruit, as he enjoyed running, crouching, and to find new paths.

Possible Answers:

as he enjoyed running, crouching, and to find new paths.

because he enjoyed running, crouching, and to find new paths.

as he enjoyed running, crouching, and finding new paths.

as he had enjoyed running, crouching, and to find new paths.

as he enjoying running, crouching, and to find new paths.

Correct answer:

as he enjoyed running, crouching, and finding new paths.

Explanation:

The list that forms the objects of the second independent clause contains objects that have different forms. Any such list needs to feature all three items as similar things that can be compared. The only answer choice with such a parallel structure is "as he enjoyed running, crouching, and finding new paths."

Example Question #62 : Parallel Structure Errors

Under the guidance of the new manager, the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and earning wages.

Possible Answers:

the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, making deals, and earning wages.

the salesman sees an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and earning wages.

the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and wages earned.

the salesman saw improvements in his hours worked, deals made, and earning wages.

the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and earning wages.

Correct answer:

the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and wages earned.

Explanation:

The three items making up the list at the end of the sentence are different kinds of descriptions. Any list needs to have the same types of words among the elements. The only answer choice to feature a correct parallel structure is "the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and wages earned."

Example Question #31 : 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.

 

Neither professional sports nor acting in film are as lucrative as most people think they are.

Possible Answers:

Neither professional sports nor acting in film

Neither playing professional sports nor acting in film

Neither professional sports nor acting for film

Either professional sports nor acting in film

Neither professional sports or acting in film

Correct answer:

Neither playing professional sports nor acting in film

Explanation:

In any "neither . . . nor" phrase, the two elements mentioned in the phrase must be the same kind of word, but they are not the same kind of word in the above sentence. "Professional sports" is a simple noun, while "acting" is a gerund, or a verb form that functions as a noun. "Neither playing professional sports nor acting in film," featuring two gerunds, features a correct parallel structure in the "neither . . . nor" phrase.

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