PSAT Writing : Identifying Sentence Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : 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 stores filled with chocolates and hearts as Valentine’s Day approached, but Dave scoffed at the trite romantic commercialism. No error.

Possible Answers:

No error.

romantic commercialism

as

filled with

but

Correct answer:

No error.

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written! “Filled with” uses the right preposition after the verb, “as” starts off an adverbial phrase correctly, “but” is the right conjunction for the logic of the sentence, and “romantic commercialism” is a correct adjective-noun combination.

Example Question #1 : 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.

The music lilted over the hills, creating a lovely soundtrack to the townspeople’s day. No error.

Possible Answers:

lovely

music lilted

No error.

creating

townspeople's day

Correct answer:

No error.

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written. “Music” and “lilted” agree, “creating” is the correct way to start a gerund phrase, “lovely” is an adjective that modifies a noun, and “townspeople’s day” uses apostrophes correctly.

Example Question #21 : 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.

Bicycles need regular maintenance to keep them performing wellNo error.

Possible Answers:

them

No error.

need

regular

performing well

Correct answer:

No error.

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written. “Need” is a verb that agrees with its plural subject, “regular” is an adjective that modifies a noun, “them” is a pronoun that agrees with its antecedent, and “performing well” is an appropriate verb-adverb combination.

Example Question #1 : 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.

Fueled by a grim determination, Jonathan pushed the wheelbarrow full of bricks up to the top of the last hillNo error.

Possible Answers:

Jonathan pushed

the last hill

grim

Fueled by

No error.

Correct answer:

No error.

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written! “Fueled by” is the correct verb-preposition combination, “grim” is an adjective modifying a noun, “Jonathan pushed” has a verb in the right tense and person, and “the last hill” is an appropriate adjective-noun combination.

Example Question #11 : 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.

Though the soup’s flavor is best when cremini mushrooms are used, it is possible to substitute white button mushrooms. No error.

Possible Answers:

when

soup's flavor

to substitute

used, it

No error.

Correct answer:

No error.

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written! “Soup’s flavor” is an appropriate use of an apostrophe, “when” is the appropriate opener for an adverbial phrase, the comma in “used, it” is correct, and the form of the verb in “to substitute” is also correct.

Example Question #11 : 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.

Chewing furiously, Moe tried to break up a stubborn chunk of venisonNo error.

Possible Answers:

No error.

stubborn

of venison

Chewing furiously

tried to

Correct answer:

No error.

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written! “Chewing furiously” is a phrase modifying the subject, “tried to” has the correct preposition following the verb, “stubborn” is an adjective modifying a noun, and “of venison” is an appropriately formed prepositional phrase.

Example Question #11 : 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.

On the genetic level, the difference between a dung beetle and a rhinoceros is quite smallNo error.

Possible Answers:

and

genetic

No error.

quite small

is

Correct answer:

No error.

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written! “Genetic” is an adjective that modifies a noun, “and” is the appropriate conjunction, “is” is a verb that is in the right tense and matches its subject, and “quite small” is a correct adverb-adjective combination.

Example Question #11 : 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.

It is rare but not unheard of for goats to start chasing wild turkeys. No error.

Possible Answers:

It is

rare

but not unheard of

No error.

start chasing

Correct answer:

No error.

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written! "It is" is an appropriate pronoun-verb combination, "rare" is an adjective describing an idea, "but not unheard of" is an appropriately used idiom, and "start chasing" is the correct conjugation of the verb.

Example Question #11 : 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.

As to the astonishing amount of radishes piled on her front porch, Mrs. Lawton was flabbergastedNo error.

Possible Answers:

piled

her

As to

No error.

was flabbergasted

Correct answer:

No error.

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written! "As to" is an appropriate transition to introduce a new topic, "piled" is the correct form of the verb, "her" is a pronoun that agrees with its antecedent, and "was flabbergasted" is an appropriate verb-adjective combination.

Example Question #12 : 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 professor was certain that her research would provoke controversy and heated discussion throughout the academic communityNo error.

Possible Answers:

was certain

throughout the academic community

No error.

would provoke

her

Correct answer:

No error.

Explanation:

This sentence is correct as written! "Was certain" has a verb that agrees with its noun and an adjective that modifies that noun, "her" is a pronoun that agrees with its antecedent, "would provoke" is a verb in the correct tense, and "throughout the academic community" is a correctly-formed prepositional phrase.

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