PSAT Writing : Identifying Sentence Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #72 : 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.

Spinning around to face the intruder, Jack stifled a cry of recognitionNo error

Possible Answers:

Spinning

a cry of recognition

stifled

to face

No error

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written! "Spinning", "to face," and "stifled" are all the correct forms of the verbs, and "a cry of recognition" is a well-formed noun phrase.

Example Question #111 : Correcting Other Errors And Recognizing 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.

My Aunt Carolyn was the one who answered the telephone, but she was not with whom I wanted to speak.

Possible Answers:

but she was not with whom I wanted to speak to.

but she was not with whom I wanted to speak.

but she was not with who I wanted to speak.

but she was not whom I wanted to speak with.

but she was not who I wanted to speak with.

Correct answer:

but she was not with whom I wanted to speak.

Explanation:

No error. Because "whom" is the object of the preposition "with," it is correct. Also, English grammar dictates that sentences should not end with prepositions, so the preposition “with” cannot be the last word of the sentence. 

Example Question #111 : Psat Writing Skills

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

Although I already bought tickets to the upcoming football game, I suddenly fell ill this afternoon, and will have to miss the game. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

Although

bought

will have to

suddenly fell ill

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

This sentence correctly uses verb tenses. The speaker describes previously purchasing tickets, and "bought" correctly conveys that event as taking place in the past. In the present, the speaker gets sick, which "suddenly fell ill" indicates. Finally, the speaker states he or she will have to miss the game in the future, as "will have to" correctly conveys.

Example Question #92 : Identifying No Error Questions

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

Increasing discretionary income, a result of the Industrial Revolution, fostered the creation of a unique working-class identity in Victorian Britain. No error

Possible Answers:

Industrial Revolution

of a unique

No error

a result of 

Increasing discretionary income,

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

There are no grammatical errors in this sentence. The interrupting phrase "a result of the Industrial Revolution" is correctly set-off from the the sentence with commas. "A unique working class identity" is correctly treated as singular, since this "identity", while applied to a whole class of people, is itself a singular, unified idea.

Example Question #101 : 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.

The Black Death, which struck Europe around 1350 CE, was introduced through the Port of Venice and killed between one third and one half the population of Europe. No error

Possible Answers:

and killed

one third and one half

No error

around 1350 CE

Death, which

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

There is no error in this sentence. 

Example Question #1 : Identifying No Errors Or Other Errors

When I get home from school, I like to relax by playing my guitar, eating a snack, watching a television show, and taking a nap.

Possible Answers:

When I will have gotten home from school, I like to relax by playing my guitar, eating a snack, watching a television show, and taking a nap.

When I got home from school, I like to relax by playing my guitar, eating a snack, watching a television show, and taking a nap.

When I get home from school, I like to relax by playing my guitar, to eat a snack, watching a television show, and to take a nap.

(No changes to original)

When I get home from school, I like to relaxing by playing my guitar, eating a snack, watching a television show, and taking a nap.

Correct answer:

(No changes to original)

Explanation:

There is no error in the original sentence.

Example Question #101 : 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.

After days of indecision, the school's Board of Athletic Safety and Welfare has decidedto delay further discussion of the new agenda until its next annual meeting. No error

Possible Answers:

of the new agenda

has decided to delay

No error

further

indecision

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written.

Example Question #932 : Identifying Sentence Errors

The United States has been a country of immigrants since its foundation. This is still true today. The United States allows more people to immigrate to it then any other country. This stream of immigration have resulted in an extremely diverse population with many different cultures and languages. As most public schools in the United States provide a monolingual education, immigrant parents are often unsure of whether or not they should teach their children their heritage language.  

There are many myths surrounding the idea of bilingual education that prevent its widespread implementation in public schools. However, bilingual education has actually been shown to produce higher achievements in both languages. As well as enhance problem solving and critical thinking skills. Because some public school systems have successfully implemented bilingual education, there are still enormous difficulties in terms of resources and support from the U.S. Board of Education.

Which of the following sentences contains an error in subject-verb agreement?

Possible Answers:

As the United States School system provides a monolingual education, immigrant parents are often unsure of whether or not to teach their children their heritage language. 

However, bilingual education has actually been shown to produce higher acheivements in both languages.

There are many myths surrounding the idea of bilingual education that prevent its widespread implementation in public schools.

As most public schools in the United States provide a monolingual education, immigrant parents are often unsure of whether or not they should teach their children their heritage language.

This stream of immigration have resulted in an extremely diverse population with many different cultures and languages.

Correct answer:

This stream of immigration have resulted in an extremely diverse population with many different cultures and languages.

Explanation:

The sentence which contains an error is "This stream of immigration have resulted in an extremely diverse population with many different cultures and languages." The verb used should be "has" rather than "have" because the subject of the sentence is the singular "stream."

Example Question #121 : Psat Writing Skills

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

The buzz of unfamiliar languages filled the room as international travelers swapped stories and comparing adventures. No error.

Possible Answers:

as international travelers

No error.

buzz of unfamiliar languages

filled 

comparing

Correct answer:

comparing

Explanation:

This sentence does not correctly use parallel structure between elements. “Swapped” and “comparing” should be formatted similarly. The corrected sentence reads, "The buzz of unfamiliar languages filled the room as international travelers swapped stories and compared adventures."

Example Question #1 : Identifying 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.

When I worked for Mr. Tipler, my daily duties included running the cash register, cleaning the store, and records of inventoryNo error.

Possible Answers:

cleaning

records of inventory

No error.

daily duties

When I worked

Correct answer:

records of inventory

Explanation:

This sentence does not demonstrate proper parallel structure among the elements in the list. Each should be formatted similarly. So, because the first two elements in the list are gerunds ("running" and "cleaning"), the noun phrase "records of inventory" should be changed to a gerund as well. The corrected sentence reads, "When I worked for Mr. Tipler, my daily duties included running the cash register, cleaning the store, and recording inventory."

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors