PSAT Writing : Identifying Sentence Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #91 : Identifying 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.

After hiking for three full days, the team of hikers arrived at the summit of the peak. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

the team of hikers

Hiking

at the summit

of the peak

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

This sentence contains no errors.

Example Question #61 : Identifying Sentences That Contain No Errors

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

Making a quilt by hand takes a tremendous amount of planning, time, and effort, so should you ever be lucky enough to receive a handmade quilt, be sure to thank the person who made it for youNo error

Possible Answers:

be sure to thank the person who made it for you

a tremendous amount of planning, time, and effort

Making a quilt by hand

should you ever be lucky enough

No error

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

This sentence is grammatically correct as written and needs no stylistic revisions: "Making a quilt by hand" is a noun phrase based on a gerund that functions as the subject of the sentence; "a tremendous amount of planning, time, and effort" correctly uses parallel structure and the Oxford comma; "should you ever be lucky enough" correctly uses the present tense and subjunctive mood, and "be sure to thank to person who made it for you" is a correct imperative statement.

Example Question #92 : Identifying 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.

A group of leading experts in entomology, the study of insects, is coming to speak to my biology class about career opportunities in that exciting field. No error

Possible Answers:

in

is

in that

No error

about

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

Make sure that you identify the proper subject in this sentence. Many students are fooled by collective singulars: "a group of experts," "a team of players," "a school of fish," "a murder of crows," and so forth. In all of these cases, even though we are talking about many individual things, we are conceiving of them as single entities. As you may have noticed, the little word "of" will frequently alert you to the presence of a collective singluar in this kind of construction. This type of sentence can also confuse the eye, as there are two plural nouns ("experts" and "insects") between the subject ("group") and the main verb ("is").

Example Question #93 : Identifying 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.

Either house will do, but neither of the two is perfect. No error

Possible Answers:

Either

neither

No error

will

is

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

There is no error. "Neither" uses the correct verb (singular) and "either" is used properly.

Example Question #91 : Identifying Other Errors Or No Error

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

The Statue of Liberty, perhaps the most recognizable symbol of American freedom, was actually constructed in France and given to the United States as a gift of friendship between the two nations. No error

Possible Answers:

a gift of friendship.

given to

was

No error

Liberty, perhaps

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

There is no error in the sentence. Verb tenses are consistent for the timeline, and the descriptive—or interrupting—phrase is correctly separated by two commas.

Example Question #61 : Identifying Sentences That Contain No 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 brave woman surreptitiously entered the aliens’ spaceship, hoping to discover their weaknesses and use the information to aid the defense. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

surreptitiously

hoping

brave

their weaknesses

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written.

Example Question #92 : Identifying Other Errors Or No Error

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

One must not fault them for mistaking the date; it was, after all, leap year.

Possible Answers:

fault them for

mistaking

One

it was

No error

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written.

Example Question #91 : Identifying Other Errors Or No Error

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

Though not Oscar-worthy fare, the silly comedy about a simian baseball player managed to make me and him laugh.

Possible Answers:

me and him

Though not

a simian

managed to

No error

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

Young children often misuse "me" as the subject of a sentence ("Can me and Timmy watch a movie?"); however, sometimes we can be corrected for making this mistake so many times that we grow to fear using the word "me" at all—even when it's properly the object of a clause! In this sentence, the phrase "make me and him laugh" may sound funny, but it correct. "Comedy" is the subject, "make . . . laugh" the verbal phrase, and "me and him" is the object, so we use the object forms of the pronouns.

Example Question #63 : Identifying Sentences That Contain No 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.

With excitement sparkling behind the tears in her eyes, Mary announced that her poodle, the pride and joy of her life, had just won the regional dog show.

Possible Answers:

announced

No error

eyes, Mary

had just won

behind

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written. “Behind” is the appropriate use of a preposition, the comma between “eyes” and “Mary” is grammatical, “announced” is a verb in the correct tense, and “had just won” is an appropriate combination of verb and adverb.

Example Question #71 : Identifying Sentences That Contain No Errors

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

Experts agree that one's likelihood of developing heart disease is proportionate to the amount of cholesterol one ingests in one's food. No error

Possible Answers:

one's

No error 

proportionate 

developing 

ingests 

Correct answer:

No error 

Explanation:

There are no mistakes in this sentence.

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