PSAT Writing : Identifying Comparative and Superlative Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #295 : 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.

Most sweaters are made of acrylic, wool, or cashmere, and though they are the more expensive of the three, I prefer cashmere sweaters because they are so soft. No error

Possible Answers:


the more expensive of the three

acrylic, wool, or cashmere,

No error


Correct answer:

the more expensive of the three


The phrase "the more expensive of the three" contains this sentence's error. Three types of sweaters are being compared: acrylic sweaters, wool sweaters, and cashmere sweaters. The comparative adjective "more" is used; this is incorrect because comparative adjectives are only used for comparing two things, as in the sentence, "I like vanilla ice cream more than chocolate-covered strawberries." When comparing three or more things, a superlative adjective should be used. In this case, that means that "more" should be changed to "most" to correct the sentence's error.

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