PSAT Writing : Identifying Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Identifying Pronoun Antecedent Agreement 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 he saw the perfect gift for his mom at the mall, he decided to buy it for them. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

them

When

at

decided

Correct answer:

them

Explanation:

The antecedent of the word "them," a plural pronoun, is the word "mom," a singular noun. Pronouns need to match their antecedents' gender and number, so the singular feminine pronoun "her" should be used instead of the plural pronoun "them."

Example Question #631 : 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.

New York and Los Angeles have experienced a cultural boom in the past decade, as its restaurant scenes have been booming with new talent. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

cultural boom

its

past decade

and

Correct answer:

its

Explanation:

Given that the subject of the sentence is "New York and Los Angeles," which is plural, the pronoun "its" should also be plural. Therefore, "its" should be "their."

Example Question #21 : Identifying Pronoun Antecedent Agreement 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 professor who assigns an unreasonable amount of reading for their students may never earn the class's approval. No error

Possible Answers:

may

their

who

No error

class's

Correct answer:

their

Explanation:

"Their" is a possessive pronoun that indicates that someone belongs to several people. This sentence, however, refers to a single subject (a professor), so the best pronoun to use is one that signifies that an object belongs to one person: in this case, his students. Even though "students" is plural, the plurality of the object does not impact the possessive pronoun. Only the plurality of the subject matters, so "his" is the correct pronoun, making the corrected sentence "A professor who assigns an unreasonable amount of reading for his students may never earn the class's approval."

Example Question #91 : Identifying Agreement Errors

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

Penelope always thought of the most fabulous witty comebacks two hours after the situation in which she could have used itNo error

Possible Answers:

two hours after

thought

the most

No error

it

Correct answer:

it

Explanation:

In this sentence, the pronoun “it” (singular) refers to “witty comebacks” (plural). These words should agree in number. The corrected sentence reads, "Penelope always thought of the most fabulous witty comebacks two hours after the situation in which she could have used them."

Example Question #18 : Identifying Pronoun Antecedent Agreement 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 threat of the winter storm caused Bob to delay his flight to New York to visit their family for Christmas. No error

Possible Answers:

caused

to delay

their

No error

to visit

Correct answer:

their

Explanation:

In this sentence, an error occurs when the possessive plural pronoun "their" is used to refer to a singular masculine antecedent, "Bob." Instead of using the plural possessive pronoun "their," one should use the singular masculine possessive pronoun "his."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Modifier Word Modified Agreement Errors

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

Jon's mother did not let him organize a garage sale for the family because she did not like the idea of strangers being able to peruse their many belongingNo error

Possible Answers:

No error

let him 

belonging

idea of

for

Correct answer:

belonging

Explanation:

Given that the descriptor "many" is used to describe "belonging," "belonging" should be plural. Therefore "belonging" should actually be "belongings."

Example Question #19 : Identifying Pronoun Antecedent Agreement 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 toucan is primarily recognized by its bright colors; they are painted a vibrant mixture of red, yellow, and blue. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

red, yellow, and blue

its

they are

primarily

Correct answer:

they are

Explanation:

The plural pronoun "they" refers back to the subject of the first part of the sentence, "The toucan." Since this noun is singular, the pronoun should be too. Changing "they" to "it" corrects the sentence's error. The corrected sentence reads, "The toucan is primarily recognized by its bright colors; it is painted a mixture of vibrant red, yellow, and blue."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Modifier Word Modified Agreement Errors

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

While this claims are unverified, some people report that garlic is a powerful panacea. No error

Possible Answers:

some

this

powerful

No error

While

Correct answer:

this

Explanation:

This sentence has a singular demonstrative adjective (“this”) that does not agree with its plural noun (“claims”). These should be consistent. The corrected sentence reads, "While these claims are unverified, some people report that garlic is a powerful panacea."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Modifier Word Modified Agreement Errors

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

Bob's story was not only more interesting than John, but it was more realistic. No error

Possible Answers:

more

John

was

No error

it

Correct answer:

John

Explanation:

This is an illogical comparison. To be grammatically correct, the sentence needs to say "John's story" or "that of John's" instead of just "John."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Modifier Word Modified Agreement Errors

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

Let's not get caught up in all this problems; we should solve them and move forward. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

Let's not

this

we should

forward

Correct answer:

this

Explanation:

The use of "this" needs to be plural since it refers to multiple problems: "these problems" would be correct.

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