Questions 1-3 refer to the following passage:
How Do You Prepare Your Vehicle for winter?
(1) Anyone who lives in a climate which brings snow during the winter knows how important it is to have a working vehicle. (2) Before winter begins, get the car or truck serviced. (3) Vehicle owners should consider the following tips. (4) Few things are worst than being unable to see in snow or sleet. (5) Most blades do not last no longer than a year. (6) Be sure that the windshield washer reservoir has fluid. (7) First of all, do the windshield wipers work properly? (8) Do not fill it with water, because plain water won’t work in the winter-it freezes.
1. Sentence 1: Anyone who lives in a climate which brings snow during the winter knows how important it is to have a working vehicle.
What correction should be made to sentence 1?
- Change lives to live.
- Place commas around which brings snow.
- Set during the winter off in dashes.
- Change which to that.
- Change it is to it are.
2. Sentence 4: Few things are worst than being unable to see in snow or sleet.
What correction should be made to this sentence?
- Change are to is.
- Change Few to Fewer.
- Change worst to worse.
- Replace or with and.
- No correction is necessary.
3. Sentence 5: Most blades do not last no longer than a year.
Which of the following is the best way to write the underlined portion of the sentence? If you think the original is the best way to write the sentence, choose option A.
- do not last no longer
- do not last longer
- do not lasted no longer
- have not last no longer
- might not last no longer
For each of the sentences below, identify the option that corrects the problem in the original sentence. If the original sentence is correct as written, select option A.
4. Despite their lucky escape, Jason and his brother could not hardly enjoy themselves.
- Jason and his brother could not hardly enjoy themselves.
- Jason and his brother could not enjoy themselves.
- Jason and Jason’s brother could not hardly enjoy themselves.
- Jason and his brother could not enjoy them.
- Jason and his brother could hardly enjoy them.
5. Stew recipes call for rosemary, parsley, thyme, and these sort of herbs.
- for rosemary, parsley, thyme, and these sort of herbs.
- for: rosemary; parsley; thyme; and these sort of herbs.
- for rosemary, parsley, thyme, and these sorts of herbs.
- for rosemary, parsley, thyme, and this sorts of herbs.
- for rosemary, parsley, thyme, and these sorts of herb.
6. Mr. King, an individual of considerable influence, created a personal fortune and gave back to the community.
- an individual of considerable influence, created a personal fortune and gave back
- an individual of considerable influence, he created a personal fortune and gave back
- an individual of considerable influence created a personal fortune and gave back
- an individual of considerable influence, created a personal fortune and gave it back
- an individual of considerable influence, created a personal fortune and then he gave it back
7. Good politicians motivate people with speeches and also improving communities with their actions.
- and also improving
- and improve
- and improving
- also improving
8. A fast reader can get through a story in a couple of hours if they’re not distracted by other things.
- if they’re not distracted by other things.
- if they’re not distracted.
- if not distracted by other things.
- so long as they are not distracted.
- while distracted by other things.
9. The duck waddled toward the pond, her five ducklings following just behind her.
- her five ducklings following just behind her.
- and then there were five ducklings following in back of her.
- therefore the ducklings were following behind.
- and so her five ducklings were following just behind her.
- her five ducklings.
10. Fair teachers understand that he or she cannot treat any student with favoritism.
- Fair teachers understand that he or she
- Fair teachers understand that he
- Fair teachers understand that she
- Fair teachers understand that they
- Fair teachers understand that their
11. We will begin with painting first, and then secondly we will start the decoupage process.
- first, and then secondly
- firstly, and then secondly
- first, and then second
- first, then second
- first, second
12. Which sentence is written correctly?
- Due to his disheveled appearance, she thought he hadn’t slept.
- Due to his disheveled appearance she thought he hadn’t slept.
- Due to his disheveled appearance-she thought he hadn’t slept.
- Due to his disheveled appearance; she thought he hadn’t slept.
Answers and Explanations
The question tests students’ knowledge of dependent clauses. A dependent clause contains a subject and a verb, but cannot stand alone. If a dependent clause begins with which, it must be preceded by a comma; if one begins with that, no comma is needed. Conversely, the first option suggests a problem with subject-verb agreement, which is not the case. Which brings snow is not an appositive phrase, nor is a comma needed after snow, so choice B is incorrect. During the winter is an adverbial prepositional phrase and needs no punctuation, making option C wrong as well. The fifth option (E) also suggests a problem with subject-verb agreement and is, therefore, incorrect.
Choice C is the correct response. The sentence tests students on the correct word for comparison of adjectives. The sentence requires worse, which is the comparative form of the adjective bad, rather than the superlative form worst. To make the change suggested in option A is to create a problem with subject-verb agreement. Choice B creates an adjective comparison problem, which is the very problem the test-taker is trying to correct. Choice D suggests a different conjunction, which is unnecessary. Choice E is also incorrect because a problem does exist that needs to be solved.
The sentence is written as a double negative. Option B is the only choice that fixes this problem. All other options reproduce the double-negative issue in a slightly altered format. Answer B is, therefore, correct.
The combination of hardly and not constitutes a double negative, making options A and C incorrect. Answer choices D and E correct this problem; however, they create a new error by using them instead of the appropriate reflexive pronoun choice, themselves. Option B is the only error-free choice offered.
The plural demonstrative adjective these should not be paired with the singular noun sort, as it is in option A. Instead, it should be used with the plural noun sorts, making choice C the best answer. Option B duplicates the original error of agreement and compounds the problem with incorrect use of semicolons to separate words in a list that do not contain internal punctuation. Answer choice D reverses the error by pairing a singular demonstrative adjective (this) with a plural noun (sorts). Finally, option E shows a different error of agreement: plural these sorts with the singular herb.
This sentence contains a number of parallel structures that must be treated consistently. The original sentence maintains this consistent structure, so option A is the correct choice.
The sentence as written fails to maintain a parallel verb structure. The first verb, motivate, is in the simple present tense, while the second, improving (with no associated helping verb), is an incomplete example of the present continuous tense. Therefore, option A is incorrect. Answer choices C and D imitate this mistake and compound the problem with additional errors of syntax. Option B, however, achieves verb tense agreement in both instances: motivate and improve. It is the correct choice.
A fast reader is singular, so the use of they in the underlined portion is incorrect. While this is commonly done in modern writing to avoid use of a gender-specific pronoun or the lengthy “he or she,” it is preferable to change the pronoun and its antecedent to their plural forms to maintain parallel structure, or to avoid use of the third-person singular pronoun altogether. The only answer choices that don’t use they are C and E. Choice E changes the meaning of the sentence, so C is correct.
The sentence is precise and clear in its original form. This type of sentence is an absolute construction, including a noun and a modifier. Absolute constructions squeeze two sentences into one. In this case, the modifier is a participial phrase.
The plural subject teachers agrees with the pronoun they, as in option D. Pronouns have to agree with gender, number, and person. If the subject were singular, such as teacher, then the pronoun would also have needed to be singular. In that case, the correct sentence might have been: A fair teacher understands that he or she cannot treat any student with favoritism. However, as currently written, answer choices A, B, and C all contain pronouns that fail to agree in number with their antecedent, the plural subject teachers. Option E, while retaining a plural structure in both instances, is incorrect because it uses their instead of they, which is the appropriate subject form of the pronoun.
When putting things or people in order, the words must agree in the series. You can use first, second, third, and so forth, or you may use firstly, secondly, thirdly, and so forth. In this sentence, answer choice C is the best choice because the two words first and second agree in the series, and in this case it also sounds better. Firstly and secondly sound awkward. Also, it is correct to use and then in the sentence rather than answer choice D, which uses only the word then.
When a dependent clause precedes an independent clause, a comma should separate the two, as in option A. The remaining choices either fail to insert punctuation, or they incorrectly use other types of punctuation (a dash and a semicolon).