PSAT Writing : Identifying Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

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.

In order for a person to balance a career and family, it is essential that they be able to prioritize all the things that must be accomplished. No error

Possible Answers:

and

that 

No error

they

able to 

Correct answer:

they

Explanation:

The subject of this sentence is "person." Therefore, the pronoun should be the singular "he or she," not the plural "they."

Example Question #81 : 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 flock of geese flew rapidly through the air for miles on end until they became fatigued and had to land to rest. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

miles on end

they 

had to 

flock of 

Correct answer:

they 

Explanation:

"Flock of geese" is singular. Therefore, the corresponding verb should refer to a singular subject, not a plural one. "They" should be changed to "it."

Example Question #81 : 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.

That university is particularly known for their strong film program and dedication to the creative arts. No error

Possible Answers:

dedication

No error

to

is

their

Correct answer:

their

Explanation:

This sentence contains a discrepancy in agreement of plurals. "University" is a singular noun, not a plural noun, so the correct possessive pronoun should be "its," not "their."

Example Question #2 : 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.

Despite their propensity to frighten young children, the garden snake is actually quite harmlessNo error

Possible Answers:

quite harmless

is

No error

to frighten

their

Correct answer:

their

Explanation:

The plural pronoun "their" refers to the singular noun "the garden snake". These should agree in number. Changing "their" to "its" corrects the sentence's error. The corrected sentence reads, "Despite its propensity to frighten young children, the garden snake is actually quite harmless."

Example Question #83 : 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 department received most of their funding from private donors who were interested in the research. No error

Possible Answers:

their

No error

received

interested in

who were

Correct answer:

their

Explanation:

The pronoun "their" should refer to a plural noun, but here it refers to the singular noun "department". A singular pronoun should be used: "The department received most of its funding from private donors who were interested in the research."

Example Question #84 : 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.

Although John was excited to meet his new teacher, he was also nervous because he didn't know what their instruction style would be like. No error

Possible Answers:

Although

excited to meet

their

he didn't know

No error

Correct answer:

their

Explanation:

Although the gender of the teacher is not specified, "teacher" is still singular. Therefore, the plural possessive pronoun "their" should not be used. Rather than using "their," the sentence should say "his or her."

Example Question #85 : 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 schools in that area have always been known for its strong academics, athletic program, and up-to-date facilities. No error

Possible Answers:

been known

its

and

No error

have

Correct answer:

its

Explanation:

The subject of the sentence is "schools," a plural noun. So, one should not use "its," a singular possessive pronoun, to refer to "schools," a plural noun. Replacing "its" with "their" would correct the sentence's error.

Example Question #86 : 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 mayor has often proposed reductions in the sales tax because shoppers can benefit from this whenever they shop. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

has often proposed

because

this

whenever

Correct answer:

this

Explanation:

Pronouns and their antecedents must agree. In this sentence, "reductions" is plural, while "this" is singular, so "this" contains the sentence's error.

Example Question #87 : 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.

Despite their excellent reputation for successful rebranding projects, the marketing agency was seeing a significant decline in the number of interested clients. No error

Possible Answers:

decline in the number

was seeing

their

No error

reputation for

Correct answer:

their

Explanation:

In this sentence, the plural pronoun “their” does not match the singular noun it refers to, “the marketing agency.” The corrected sentence reads: "Despite its excellent reputation for successful rebranding projects, the marketing agency was seeing a significant decline in the number of interested clients."

Example Question #88 : 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.

Instead of accepting the aliens’ offer to take over, the humans rejected them and attempted vainly to fight back. No error

Possible Answers:

Instead of

them

No error

vainly

the aliens' offer

Correct answer:

them

Explanation:

This sentence has a disagreement between a pronoun and its antecedent. The “offer” is singular and “them” is plural. The corrected sentence reads, "Instead of accepting the aliens’ offer to take over, the humans rejected it and attempted vainly to fight back."

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