SAT Writing : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #60 : Other Pronoun Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The assistant always read the paper completely to myself every morning.

Possible Answers:

completely to myself every morning.

completely to me every morning.

completely for myself every morning.

complete to myself every morning.

completely to my own self every morning.

Correct answer:

completely to me every morning.

Explanation:

The use of the reflexive pronoun "myself" is incorrect in this sentence, as it has no previous first person pronoun to refer to. The simple first person objective pronoun is the only pronoun that should be used in this instance. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "completely to me every morning."

Example Question #21 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The news came as a complete surprise not only to me, but to himself as well.

Possible Answers:

but to himself just as well.

but for himself as well.

but also to himself as well.

but to him as well.

but to himself as well.

Correct answer:

but to him as well.

Explanation:

The use of "himself" is incorrect in this statement, as it is a reflexive pronoun with no previous third person pronoun to which it can refer back. The simple third person pronoun is all that is needed in this spot. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "but to him as well."

Example Question #22 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

The full package was finally delivered to myself after a delay of over a week.

Possible Answers:

was final delivered to myself

was finally delivered for myself

was delivered finally to myself

was finally delivered to me

was finally delivered to myself

Correct answer:

was finally delivered to me

Explanation:

The use of the reflexive pronoun "myself" is incorrect in this sentence, as it has no previous first person pronoun to refer to. The simple first person objective pronoun is the pronoun that needs to be used in this sentence. Thus, the correct answer choice is "was finally delivered to me."

Example Question #23 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

For weeks on end, all of the materials were given to myself before anyone else.

Possible Answers:

given to me before anyone else.

given to myself before anybody else.

given for myself before anyone else.

giving to myself before anyone else.

given to myself before anyone else.

Correct answer:

given to me before anyone else.

Explanation:

The use of the reflexive pronoun "myself" in the sentence is incorrect, as it has no previous first person pronoun to refer back to. The regular first person pronoun is absolutely fine in this sentence. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "given to me before anyone else."

Example Question #24 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

When you are done reading the books, please bring them back to myself.

Possible Answers:

please bring them back to me

please bring those back to myself

please bringing them back to myself

please bring them back to myself

please bring them back unto myself

Correct answer:

please bring them back to me

Explanation:

The use of the reflexive pronoun "myself" in this sentence is incorrect, as it has no previous first person pronoun to refer back to. The pronoun can be changed to the simple first person objective pronoun, "me." The only answer choice to make this necessary change is "please bring them back to me."

Example Question #61 : Other Pronoun Usage Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The packages could only be signed for by myself.

Possible Answers:

The packages could only be signing for by myself.

The packages could only be signed for by myself.

The packages could only be signed for by me.

The packages could only be sign for by myself.

The package's could only be signed for by myself.

Correct answer:

The packages could only be signed for by me.

Explanation:

The use of the reflexive pronoun "myself" is incorrect in this sentence, as it has no previous first person pronoun to refer back to. The reflexive pronoun can be changed to the simple first person objective pronoun, "me." Therefore, the correct answer choice is "The packages could only be signed for by me."

Example Question #62 : Other Pronoun Usage Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Every single paper written by an employee must be given to myself.

Possible Answers:

Every single paper written by an employee must be giving to myself.

Every single paper written by an employee must be given for myself.

Each single paper written by an employee must be given to myself.

Every single paper written by an employee must be given to me.

Every single paper written by an employee must be given to myself.

Correct answer:

Every single paper written by an employee must be given to me.

Explanation:

The use of the reflexive pronoun "myself" in this sentence is incorrect and confusing, as it has no previous first person pronoun to refer back to. The reflexive pronoun can be changed to the simple first person objective pronoun "me" without changing the meaning of the sentence. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "Every single paper written by an employee must be given to me."

Example Question #63 : Other Pronoun Usage Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

That important document was only ever seen by myself.

Possible Answers:

was ever only seen by myself

was only ever seen by me

was only ever seen for myself

was only ever saw by myself

was only ever seen by myself

Correct answer:

was only ever seen by me

Explanation:

The use of the reflexive pronoun "myself" is incorrect in this sentence, as it has no previous first person pronoun to refer back to. The reflexive pronoun can easily be replaced by the simple first person objective pronoun, "me." The only answer choice that actually does this is "was only ever seen by me."

Example Question #31 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices repeats the underlined portion as it is written.

You must be sure to bring the materials directly to myself.

Possible Answers:

 to me.

 to I.

 to myself.

 for myself.

 unto myself.

Correct answer:

 to me.

Explanation:

The use of the pronoun "myself" is incorrect in this sentence, as "myself" is a reflexive pronoun and needs a referent earlier in the sentence. As no earlier use of a first person pronoun exists in the sentence, a reflexive pronoun is inappropriate. "To me" is the correct answer choice. "To I" might look like a potentially correct answer, but because "I" is the object of the preposition "to," it needs to be in its objective form, "me," not its subjective form, "I."

Example Question #32 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices repeats the underlined portion as it is written.

The documents were surrendered to themselves as soon as the commission had finalized their work.

Possible Answers:

to themselves soon as

to them as soon as

to themselves when

to themselves as soon as

to them soon as

Correct answer:

to them as soon as

Explanation:

The use of the pronoun "themselves" is incorrect in the sentence, as "themselves" is a reflexive pronoun and needs a noun earlier in the sentence to refer back to as a referent. This is the only issue in the sentence, and replacing "themselves" with the non-reflexive third person plural object pronoun "them" is sufficient. The correct answer choice, then, is "to them as soon as."

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