PSAT Writing : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

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

One should always take care to file away the operation instructions of new machinery in a safe place, because you never know when you might need to troubleshoot a problem. No error.

Possible Answers:

One should always

to file away

might need to troubleshoot

No error.

in a safe place

Correct answer:

One should always

Explanation:

This sentence switches between “one” and “you.” These should be kept consistent. The corrected sentence reads, "You should always take care to file away the operation instructions of new machinery in a safe place, because you never know when you might need to troubleshoot a problem."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

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

One should always locate all of the exits in a new location before you find yourself in an emergency situation. No error.

Possible Answers:

in a new location

One

emergency

No error.

always

Correct answer:

One

Explanation:

This sentence uses both “one” and “you” as pronouns. These should be kept consistent; if you start a sentence by using "one," you shouldn't switch to using "you" in the middle of the sentence. The corrected sentence reads, "You should always locate all of the exits in a new location before you find yourself in an emergency situation."

Example Question #73 : 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.

It is always important for one to be alert when driving because you never know when another driver might come into your lane, or when a pedestrian might cross the street illegally. No error

Possible Answers:

always 

to be

No error

you never know

when 

Correct answer:

you never know

Explanation:

When a sentence uses "one" as a neutral third-person pronoun, the sentence should not then switch to using "you" instead of "one." Therefore, "you never know" contains the error in this sentence.

Example Question #1 : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

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

If you are being attacked, it is important not to provoke the other person because one never knows whether the attacker has weapons. No error

Possible Answers:

it is

are

No error

one

other person

Correct answer:

one

Explanation:

If a sentence is describing how “you” should behave, it creates discontinuity if it then begins to use the word “one” in place of "you" later in the sentence. Therefore, “one" should be replaced by the word “you" to correct the sentence's error.

Example Question #75 : 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.

When one is interviewed, it is important that you be articulate and present oneself well.  No error

Possible Answers:

it is

you

is interviewed

No error

well

Correct answer:

you

Explanation:

If a sentence is describing how “one” should behave, it creates discontinuity to then begin using the word “you" later in the sentence. Therefore, “you” should be replaced by the word “one" to fix the sentence's error.

Example Question #64 : Identifying Pronoun Errors

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

You should always make sure to have a first-aid kit in your car, because one never knows when it can be useful, or even save a life. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

when

should

one

your car

Correct answer:

one

Explanation:

If a sentence is describing how “you” should behave, it creates discontinuity to then begin using the word “one.” Therefore, “one” should be replaced by the word “you.”

 

Example Question #76 : 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.

When one prepares for a marathon, it is essential that you prepare an exercise routine and stick to itNo error

Possible Answers:

No error

to it

When

you

it is

Correct answer:

you

Explanation:

If a sentence is describing how “one” should behave, it creates discontinuity to then begin using the word “you.” Therefore, “you” should be replaced by the word “one,” or the sentence should be rewritten so that this discontinuity is resolved.

Example Question #77 : 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.

One might initially think that you understand the expression "I think therefore I am," but you might not fully understand it until you mull it over for a while. No error

Possible Answers:

fully understand it until

 think

One

understand

No error  

Correct answer:

One

Explanation:

The "one" and "you" need to be properly distinguished in this sentence; choose one to use, and stick with it. The sentence uses "you" throughout except for the first word, "One," so it could be corrected by changing this "One" to "You."

Example Question #51 : Identifying Pronoun Errors

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

After you play in the sand at the beach, it's very easy to get a lot of sand stuck in one's shoes. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

it's

you

stuck

a lot

Correct answer:

you

Explanation:

It is not grammatically correct to use both "you" and "one" as pronouns in the same sentence. As written, the sentence begins by using "you," but then changes to using "one" when it ends with the phrase "one's shoes." So, to correct the sentence's error, "you" should be changed to "one."

Example Question #2 : Identifying Pronoun Errors: Inconsistent Usage

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

One should never trust people who talk about others behind their backs, because you can safely assume they will do the same to you. No error

Possible Answers:

No Error

they will do

One should never

behind their backs

who talk

Correct answer:

One should never

Explanation:

The sentence starts off by using "one" as a pronoun, but then switches to using "you." In a single sentence, you should pick one of these pronouns to use and stick with it, and not change from using one to using the other in the middle of the sentence. To correct the sentence's error, you would need to change "One" to "You."

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