PSAT Writing : Identifying Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #9 : Identifying Noun Noun 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 professor decided that all of his students should become a fan of his favorite violinist, so he lent them CDs so that they could listen to the music. No error

Possible Answers:

a fan

so he

all of

No error

they

Correct answer:

a fan

Explanation:

"Students" is plural, so the plural word "fans" should be used in the sentence. However, the word used in the sentence as it is written is the singular “fan,” which is incorrect. 

Example Question #1 : Identifying Noun Noun 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.

Jordan and Marvin’s mother has decided that they will become a lawyer when they grow up, but they seem more artistically inclinedNo error

Possible Answers:

No error

they

a lawyer

artistically inclined

up, but

Correct answer:

a lawyer

Explanation:

This sentence's error is a discrepancy in number. Two children are mentioned, "Jordan and Marvin," so logically, they would grow up to become two different lawyers. The sentence uses the singular noun "a lawyer" where it should use the plural noun "lawyers," so "lawyer" is the correct answer.

The corrected sentence reads, "Jordan and Marvin’s mother has decided that they will become lawyers when they grow up, but they seem more artistically inclined."

Example Question #11 : Identifying Noun Noun 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.

As part of their development, caterpillars form a cocoon and eventually emerge as moths or butterflies. No error

Possible Answers:

their

a cocoon

emerge

No error

eventually

Correct answer:

a cocoon

Explanation:

This sentence's error is a problem with agreement of plurals. Multiple "caterpillars" should form multiple cocoons, but the sentence uses the singular noun "a cocoon," which doesn't make sense. "A cocoon" is thus the correct answer, and the corrected sentence reads, "As part of their development, caterpillars form cocoons and eventually emerge as moths or butterflies."

Example Question #12 : Identifying Noun Noun 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.

Dedication, hard work, and attention to detail are all an important factor in determining success. No error

Possible Answers:

and attention to detail

are

determining

an important factor

No error

Correct answer:

an important factor

Explanation:

As with pronouns, when a noun or group of nouns is replaced in a sentence by another noun, they must agree in number. The multiple subjects "Dedication," "work," and "attention" call for a plural word.  A simple correction would be "important factors"

Example Question #421 : 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.

Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera were both well-known and talented Mexican painterNo error

Possible Answers:

No error

talented

and her

painter

were both

Correct answer:

painter

Explanation:

In this sentence, there are two individuals, both painters, so the object should reflect that number. The corrected sentence reads, "Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera were both well-known and talented Mexican painters."

Example Question #114 : 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.

Recognizing that the inhabitants of Earth suffered from many wars, disasters, and diseases, the aliens hoped to be welcomed as a saviorNo error

Possible Answers:

as a savior

wars, disasters, and diseases

suffer from

No error

Recognizing

Correct answer:

as a savior

Explanation:

This sentence lacks agreement between nouns. Since there are many aliens, “savior” should be plural. The corrected sentence reads, "Recognizing that the inhabitants of Earth suffered from many wars, disasters, and diseases, the aliens hoped to be welcomed as saviors."

Example Question #115 : 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.

At the end of the day, Jeremy and Joe said goodbye to each other, got into their car, and drove their separate ways. No error

Possible Answers:

At the end of the day

separate

their car

No error

said goodbye

Correct answer:

their car

Explanation:

It is clear from the content of this sentence that Jeremy and Joe each have their own car, but the sentence has “car” as singular. This should be plural to avoid confusion. The corrected sentence reads, "At the end of the day, Jeremy and Joe said goodbye to each other, got into their cars, and drove their separate ways."

Example Question #141 : 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.

Reading, writing, and arithmetic are essential skill to learn in elementary school. No error

Possible Answers:

are

No error

in elementary school

and

skill

Correct answer:

skill

Explanation:

There is a discrepancy in the agreement of nouns in this sentence. "Reading, writing and arithmetic" require the plural form of "skill," "skills." Multiple subjects require a plural predicate to match their form. "Reading, writing, and arithmetic" are not being discussed as a unified group (which is an exception requiring a singular predicate), so the agreement must be plural, because several subjects are being discussed.

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