PSAT Writing : Identifying Other Adjective and Adverb Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Identifying Adjective And Adverb Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The red indicator light blinked steady on and off throughout the night; it was the only sign that the machine was runningNo error.

Possible Answers:

throughout the night

was running

the only sign that

steady

No error.

Correct answer:

steady

Explanation:

This sentence uses the adjective “steady” to modify the verb “blinked.” An adjective cannot modify a verb, but an adverb would be correct in this context. The corrected sentence reads, "The red indicator light blinked steadily on and off throughout the night; it was the only sign that the machine was running."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Adjective And Adverb Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

When calibrating the new equipment, it is essential to be patient and work meticulousNo error.

Possible Answers:

calibrating

No error.

to be patient

it is

meticulous

Correct answer:

meticulous

Explanation:

In this sentence, an adjective is misused as an adverb. Since “meticulous” modifies the verb “work,” it should be an adverb. The corrected sentence reads: "When calibrating the new equipment, it is essential to be patient and work meticulously."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Adjective And Adverb Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Schwartz climbed into the spacious limousine and settled himself comfortable on one of the long leather seats. No error.

Possible Answers:

limousine and

climbed into

himself

comfortable

No error.

Correct answer:

comfortable

Explanation:

This sentence uses an adjective (“comfortable”) to modify a verb (“settled”), which is not grammatically correct. Using an adverb instead of an adjective would be appropriate, however. The corrected sentence reads, "Schwartz climbed into the spacious limousine and settled himself comfortably on one of the long leather seats."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Adjective And Adverb Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The audience watched breathless as the contortionist brought her leg behind her back and in front of her noseNo error.

Possible Answers:

breathless

No error.

in front of her nose

her

brought

Correct answer:

breathless

Explanation:

This sentence uses the adjective “breathless” to modify the verb “watched”. An adjective cannot be used to modify a verb, but an adverb can, so an adverb would be more appropriate. The corrected sentence reads, "The audience watched breathlessly as the contortionist brought her leg behind her back and in front of her nose."

Example Question #2 : Identifying Adjective And Adverb Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The mademoiselle’s promising career in opera was tragic cut short by a falling piano. No error.

Possible Answers:

falling

No error.

promising career in opera

cut short by

tragic

Correct answer:

tragic

Explanation:

In this sentence, the adjective “tragic” is misused to modify a verb, “cut short.” An adverb would be correct here. The corrected sentence reads, "The mademoiselle’s promising career in opera was tragically cut short by a falling piano."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Other Adjective And Adverb Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Although the eighth grade math bowl eam did excellently in practice, the members performed terrible in the actual tournament. No error

Possible Answers:

terrible

the members

No error

Although

excellently

Correct answer:

terrible

Explanation:

This sentence uses the adjective "terrible" to modify the verb "performed." An adverb is more appropriate. The corrected sentence reads, "Although the eighth grade math bowl eam did excellently in practice, the members performed terribly in the actual tournament."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Other Adjective And Adverb Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Francisca was nervous that the sudden arrival of fifty international students would be overly chaotic, but fortunately everything went smooth. No error

Possible Answers:

overly chaotic

arrival of

No error

went smooth

was nervous that

Correct answer:

went smooth

Explanation:

In this sentence, the adjective “smooth” is used to modify the verb “went.” An adverb would be correct in this situation. The corrected sentence reads, "Francisca was nervous that the sudden arrival of fifty international students would be overly chaotic, but fortunately everything went smoothly."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Adjective And Adverb Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

That track star is admired for his ability to run so swift, which is why many adoring fans have given him a nickname relating to his speed. No error

Possible Answers:

which

swift

No error

is admired

have given him

Correct answer:

swift

Explanation:

Adverbs often end in "–ly" (e.g. "quickly," "slyly," and "happily"). Without this "–ly" ending, swift is only an adjective (e.g. "He is a swift runner."). In this case, “swift” acts as an adverb (describing how the track star runs), so it should be written “swiftly.”

Example Question #2 : Identifying Other Adjective And Adverb Errors

 

While the trick may look effortlessly, the actual execution of a perfect double back handspring is quite tricky to achieve successfully.

 

Possible Answers:

effortlessly

may

execution of

quite tricky

No error

Correct answer:

effortlessly

Explanation:

This sentence uses an adverb (effortlessly) to describe a noun (trick). An adjective would be more appropriate. The corrected sentence reads: While the trick may look effortless, the actual execution of a perfect double back handspring is quite tricky to achieve successfully.

 

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