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

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Identifying Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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 old, faded rug ran the course of the entire empty room, it having been left untouched for fifty years. No error

Possible Answers:

ran

old, faded

it having been 

untouched for

No error

Correct answer:

it having been 

Explanation:

This sentence has some unnecessary words thrown in it. “It having been” is clunky and not needed. The corrected sentence reads: The old, faded rug ran the course of the entire empty room, left untouched for fifty years.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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 downtrodden wrestlers all put away their uniforms and tried to silently forget the crushing defeat of that day. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

their

to silently forget

crushing

downtrodden

Correct answer:

to silently forget

Explanation:

The error in this sentence is a split infinitive. Conventional grammar rules tell us that an infinitive verb, such as “to forget,” should not be interrupted by an adverb, like “silently.” It would be more correct to say "tried silently to forget.”

Example Question #3 : Identifying Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

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

Every Wednesday, I go to the dry cleaner, where I pick up my shirts, and to the grocery store, where I bought milk and bread. No error

Possible Answers:

I go

No error

store, where 

I bought

Every Wednesday,

Correct answer:

I bought

Explanation:

The error in the sentence is "I bought." The fact that I go to the store "every Wednesday" indicates that my actions, from going to the store to buying milk, are recurring actions. Using "I bought" makes the action a past action, when it should be "I buy." 

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