PSAT Writing : Identifying Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #614 : 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.

Many students have trouble learning the order of operations in math, which have led to the creation of many mnemonic devices to help them remember it. No error

Possible Answers:

have led to

No error

many mnemonic devices

Many students have

math, which

Correct answer:

have led to

Explanation:

"Have led" refers to "the order of operations," or more specifically, "order," a singular noun. "Have" is a verb that is used with plural nouns, so it does not agree with the singular "order." To fix the sentence, "have" would need to be changed to "has."

Example Question #615 : 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.

We have all been taught that dinosaurs is a types of reptile that went extinct a long time ago. No error

Possible Answers:

that

No error

is a

dinosaurs

have all been

Correct answer:

is a

Explanation:

"Dinosaurs" is in its plural form, and needs to be accompanied by a verb also in the plural form. Thus, "is a" contains the sentence's error, and should be changed to "are."

Example Question #71 : 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.

The woolly mammoth, a relative of the elephant, roamed through northern Eurasia and North America before their extinctionNo error.

Possible Answers:

their extinction

a relative of the elephant

and

roamed through

No error.

Correct answer:

their extinction

Explanation:

In this sentence, the plural pronoun “their” does not agree with its singular antecedent, “the woolly mammoth.” The corrected sentence reads, "The woolly mammoth, a relative of the elephant, roamed through northern Eurasia and North America before its extinction."

Example Question #373 : 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.

The ruby-tailed tree crawler is a rare species of caterpillar; they only live in isolated sections of the Amazon jungle. No error.

Possible Answers:

No error.

they

a rare species

isolated sections

live in

Correct answer:

they

Explanation:

In this sentence, the pronoun “they” does not agree in number with its singular antecedent, “the ruby-tailed tree crawler.” The corrected sentence reads, "The ruby-tailed tree crawler is a rare species of caterpillar; it only lives in isolated sections of the Amazon jungle."

Example Question #73 : 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.

Modern-day chickens did not evolve from prehistoric dinosaurs, but it does share a common ancestor. No error.

Possible Answers:

dinosaurs, but

Modern-day

did not evolve from

No error.

it does

Correct answer:

it does

Explanation:

This sentence has a pronoun that does not agree with its antecedent. “It” is singular, but it refers to the plural “chickens” and “dinosaurs.” The corrected sentence reads, "Modern-day chickens did not evolve from prehistoric dinosaurs, but they do share a common ancestor."

Example Question #1 : 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 tree-toothed spider is migrating north from the Amazon, where they made their home previouslyNo error.

Possible Answers:

previously

is migrating

from the Amazon

No error.

they made their home

Correct answer:

they made their home

Explanation:

The first part of the sentence introduces the spider as a singular noun. The second part, where the sentence uses pronouns, should match this by referring to the spider using singular pronouns. The corrected sentence reads, "The tree-toothed spider is migrating north from the Amazon, where it made its home previously."

Example Question #1 : 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.

Little Amy beamed proudly as she described every detail of the model rocket her father and her had builtNo error.

Possible Answers:

her father and her

No error.

described

proudly

had built

Correct answer:

her father and her

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in pronoun case. "Her father and her" is incorrect because "her" is an objective pronoun, whereas a subjective pronoun is needed because Amy performed the action "had built," along with "her father." If you find it hard to see why the sentence's use of "her" is incorrect, try taking out the phrase "her father and"; you wouldn't say "Little Amy beamed proudly as she described every detail of the model rocket her had built." So, "her father and her" is the part of the sentence that contains an error.

Example Question #76 : 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.

For people living in extremely cold climates, putting on warm mittens and boots just to cross the street is a necessary precaution to protect yourself from the cold. No error.

Possible Answers:

For people living in

putting on

No error.

to protect yourself

and boots

Correct answer:

to protect yourself

Explanation:

This sentence uses the pronoun “yourself,” even though it is talking about “people living in cold and snowy climates” in the third person. One way to correct this is, "For people living in extremely cold climates, putting on warm mittens and boots just to cross the street is a necessary precaution for protection from the cold."

Example Question #77 : 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.

Contrary to popular belief, the most dangerous pirates were often the ones which had two wooden legs. No error.

Possible Answers:

No error.

were the ones

most dangerous

Contrary to

which

Correct answer:

which

Explanation:

This sentence uses the relative pronoun “which” to describe people. The personal version “who” is better: "Contrary to popular belief, the most dangerous pirates were often the ones who had two wooden legs."

Example Question #1 : 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.

I hate having to go to the doctor because they always ask very invasive questions that make me uncomfortable. No error

Possible Answers:

make me 

ask 

No error

having to 

they

Correct answer:

they

Explanation:

The word, "doctor" is singular. Therefore, pronouns that refer back to the doctor should also be singular. "They" is plural and therefore is incorrect; the phrase "he or she" should be used in the sentence, as we do not know the doctor's gender.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors