PSAT Writing : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, and Sentence Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

← Previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 21 22

Example Question #1 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The ancient Sumerians are credited with the invention of beer and cuneiform, and organized government.

Possible Answers:

inventions of beer, cuneiform, and also organized government

the invention of beer and cuneiform, and organized government

inventions of beer, cuneiform, and organized government too

invention of the beer, the cuneiform, and the organized government

invention of beer, cuneiform, and organized government

Correct answer:

invention of beer, cuneiform, and organized government

Explanation:

The original sentence does not employ correct parallel structure; it is imbalanced. The shortest and most straightforward of the sentences is most desirable. The repetition of the article in “the beer, the cuneiform . . .” sounds awkward.

Example Question #1 : 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.

Portraits painted during the Renaissance reveal a stricter adherence to the principles of realism than the Middle Ages.

Possible Answers:

has revealed a stricter adherence to the principles of realism than the Middle Ages

reveal a stricter adherence to the principles of realism than the Middle Ages

reveals a stricter adherence to the principles of realism than the Middle Ages

reveal a stricter adherence to the principles of realism than those painted during the Middle Ages

reveal a stricter adherence to the principles of realism than did the Middle Ages

Correct answer:

reveal a stricter adherence to the principles of realism than those painted during the Middle Ages

Explanation:

The original text contains a faulty compaison. It compares portraits painted during the Renaissance to the time period of the Middle Ages. Instead, portraits should be compared to other portraits. The only answer choice that correcly makes this comparison is "reveal a stricter adherence to the principles of realism than those painted during the Middle Ages."

Example Question #335 : Improving Sentences

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.

Every morning, the celebrated composer liked to make a pot of tea, sit down by the window, and began work on his symphony.

Possible Answers:

window, to begin work on his symphony

window, and begin work on his symphony

window, and began work on his symphony.

window; he began work on his symphony

window, and beginning to work on his symphony

Correct answer:

window, and begin work on his symphony

Explanation:

The original sentence does not follow employ parallel structure within the list of things that the composer does every morning. To make it consistent, each verb should be an infinitive ("to make . . . sit . . . begin"). None of the other answers fit into that pattern.

Example Question #1 : 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.

The lightweight champion boxer may not have the brute strength of heavyweight fighters, but he makes up for it with ferocity and being quick.

Possible Answers:

fighters, but he makes up for it with ferocity and quickness.

fighters, but he makes up for it with ferocity and being quick.

fighters; but he makes up for it with ferocity and being quick.

fighters, and he makes up for it with ferocity and being quick.

fighters, but they make up for it with ferocity and being quick.

Correct answer:

fighters, but he makes up for it with ferocity and quickness.

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in parallelism. The listed attributes "ferocity" and "being quick" should be phrased the same way. Changing "being quick" to "quickness" fixes this.

Example Question #2 : 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.

Behaviors typical of early infancy include exchanging facial expressions with caregivers, focusing on visual objects, and the imitation of adult behavior.

Possible Answers:

exchanging facial expressions with caregivers, focusing on visual objects, and imitating adult behavior

exchanging facial expressions with caregivers, focusing toward visual objects, and the imitation of adult behavior

exchanging facial expressions with caregivers, focusing on visual objects, and the imitation of adult behavior

exchanging facial expressions to caregivers, focusing with visual objects, and the imitation of adult behavior

exchanging facial expressions to caregivers, focusing on visual objects, and the imitation of adult behavior

Correct answer:

exchanging facial expressions with caregivers, focusing on visual objects, and imitating adult behavior

Explanation:

The underlined portion contains a list, the first two items of which end in "-ing." To maintain the parallel structure of the list, the third item should also end in "-ing." Only answer choice "exchanging facial expressions with caregivers, focusing on visual objects, and imitating adult behavior" represents the correct use of parallelism.

Example Question #1 : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

In the following question, please choose the best sentence improvement.

The vineyards of Napa Valley are at once breathlessly vibrant, symmetrical, and the green is profound.

Possible Answers:

and its green is quite profound.

and profoundly green.

and it is profoundly green.

and the green is profound.

and so profound green.

Correct answer:

and profoundly green.

Explanation:

This sentence requires parallelism across all elements. Only "profoundly green" matches "breathlessly vibrant" and "symmetrical."

Example Question #2 : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

The kids took too much time cleaning their rooms, left little time to do outdoor chores.

Possible Answers:

left little time to do outdoor chores.

left little time to had done outdoor chores.

leaving little time to do outdoor chores.

leaving little time to doing outdoor chores.

left few times to do outdoor chores.

Correct answer:

leaving little time to do outdoor chores.

Explanation:

The underlined phrase in the sentence, being the second part of a complex sentence, needs to have a parallel structure to the phrase in the first half of the sentence; therefore, "leaving little time to do outdoor chores," is the best choice among the answers.

Example Question #3 : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

In the following question, please choose the best sentence improvement.

When choosing a sport, youths are encouraged to consider its difficulty, its required skills, its necessary equipment, and its overall cost.

Possible Answers:

if it costs money.

its overall cost.

the cost of it.

the money needed for it.

how much it costs overall.

Correct answer:

its overall cost.

Explanation:

In this question, only the original sentence shows parallelism. Any choice other than "its overall cost" would not exhibit parallel structure with the sentence's other elements.

Example Question #1 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

The teacher sought new ways of teaching, believing her students would get more from lessons featuring playing, acting, and creativity.

Possible Answers:

featuring playing, acting, and creative things. 

featuring playing, acting, and creativity.

featuring play, act, and creativity.

featuring the playing, acting, and creativity.

featuring playing, acting, and creating.

Correct answer:

featuring playing, acting, and creating.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence features a list of verbs, but they are not all in a parallel form. All such lists must feature a parallel structure for the verbs listed; therefore, the correct answer is "featuring playing, acting, and creating."

Example Question #5 : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

Stretching before physical workouts is important to improve flexibility and avoiding injury.

Possible Answers:

is important to improve flexibility and being injured less.

are important to improve flexibility and avoiding injury.

is important to both improve flexibility and also avoid injury.

is important to improve flexibility and in the avoidance of injury.

is important to improve flexibility and avoid injury.

Correct answer:

is important to improve flexibility and avoid injury.

Explanation:

Paralellism:  in a list of two or more items in a sentence, each should be worded in the same manner for consistency. One choice changes "is" to "are," which is incorrect because the subject is the singular "stretching," not the plural "workouts," which is part of a prepositional phrase.

← Previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 21 22
Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors