3.2: Practice Questions
Directions: For this section, solve each problem and decide which is the best of the choices given. You may use any available space for scratchwork.

(Improving Sentences) — Jewelry is an accessory used by members of all classes including watches, necklaces and earrings.
 Jewelry is an accessory used by members of all classes including watches, necklaces and earrings.
 Jewelry, including watches, necklaces and earrings, is an accessory used by members of all classes.
 Jewelry, including watches, necklaces and earrings, are an accessory used by members of all classes.
 Jewelry is accessorized by members of all classes including watches, necklaces and earrings.
 Jewelry is an accessory used by members of all classes which includes watches, necklaces and wearing earrings.
EXPLANATION — The problem with this sentence is the misplacement of the clause that describes jewelry. By placing “...including watches, necklaces, and earrings.” after “classes” the reader gets the impression that the classes involves different types of jewelry. By moving the clause, choice B and choice C improve the sentence. However, choice C commits the error of using a plural form of “to be” (i.e. are) to refer to a collective noun like jewelry that demands a singular verb (i.e. is). Only choice B places the clause correctly after “jewelry” and ensures that the verb agrees with the subject.

(Identifying Errors) \begin{align*}&\text{After the brilliant team} \ \underline{\text{that}} \ \text{developed the atomic bomb for the United States}\\
& \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \quad \text{A} \\
& \text{government finished testing and realized the} \ \underline{\text{apocalyptic}} \ \text{consequences of} \ \underline{\text{use}},\\
& \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{B} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \quad \ \ \text{C}\\
& \text{each member of the team felt remorseful and} \ \underline{\text{adamant}} \ \text{urged the government}\\
& \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \quad \text{D}\\
& \text{to reach peace.} \ \underline{\text{No error.}}\\
& \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{E}\end{align*}
 that
 apocalyptic
 use
 adamant
 No error
EXPLANATION — This sentence tests your knowledge of adverbs. Adverbs alter and describe the meaning of a verb, hence the name adverb as it represents an “adjective” for a “verb.” Adverbs are most easily recognized by an “ly” at the end such as “quickly,” “shrewdly” and “nicely.” In this sentence because the scientists “urged” against use of the atomic bomb, the adjective “adamant” must be modified to an adverb and be “adamantly.” Choice D is the correct answer.

(Identifying Errors) \begin{align*}& \underline{\text{Its}} \ \text{very important to read and absorb the stories of classic dramas} \
\underline{\text{written by}} \ \text{the}\\
& \text{A} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \quad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{B}\\
& \text{ Greek and English} \ \underline{\text{playwrights}} \ \text{for the universal} \ \underline{\text{messages of}}\ \text{humanity and ambition.} \ \\
& \qquad \qquad \quad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{C} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \ \text{D}\\
& \underline{\text{No error.}}\\
& \quad \ \text{E} \end{align*}
 Its
 written by
 playwrights
 messages of
 No error
EXPLANATION — Part A is wrong as it is the incorrect form of it/its/it’s. “Its” is the way to discuss possession. For example if you were talking negatively about your local government you could say “Its last two years in office were spent drowning in corruption and inefficiency.” However, if you use “it’s” then you are using the contracted form (when an apostrophe and s are used) to mean “it is.” This contract form is necessary here because the sentence should read “It is very important...”

(Improving Sentences) — Fraternities are a great way to make friends and learn important lessons of loyalty and compassion.
 are a great way to make friends and
 is a great way to make friends and
 will have been a great way to make friends and
 will be a great way to make friends and
 is a great way to make friends however
EXPLANATION — The original sentence is correct as written. There is no need to change the verb form or tense. Choice A is correct.

(Improving Sentences) — Sports commentators often provide informative and witty insight during games that enhance the sportswatching experience.
 enhance the sportswatching experience.
 enhance the experience.
 enhances the sportswatching experience.
 enhances the sportswatching experience for fans.
 have enhanced the sportswatching experiences for fans.
EXPLANATION — The problem with this sentence is that the second action verb (i.e. enhance) needs to be singular (i.e. enhances) because this verb refers to “insight.” Some readers may believe that because there are two characteristics to the insight (i.e. informative and witty) there should be a plural form of the verb. Choice C and choice D correct this agreement error of the verb; however, choice D is wordy. Obviously fans are the ones who watch sports, so why restate this? Choice C therefore is most direct and grammatically sound.

(Improving Sentences) — Since the work force is becoming increasingly competitive in light of technological advances and outsourcing, therefore, it is even more basic for students to complete high school and attain at least a bachelor’s degree.
 therefore, it is even more basic for students to complete high school and attain at least a bachelor’s degree.
 moreover, it is even more basic for students to complete high school and attain at least a bachelor’s degree.
 but, it is even more basic for students to complete high school and attain at least a bachelor’s degree.
 so it is even more basic for students to complete high school and attain at least a bachelor’s degree.
 it is even more basic for students to complete high school and attain at least a bachelor’s degree.
EXPLANATION — This sentence is a runon sentence and can be fixed with the deletion of one word: “therefore.” By beginning with a conjunction such as “Since” the sentence already has a descriptive clause in motion and just needs to be followed by a succinct (brief) statement of what the background of the first clause was describing. All of the choices except choice E use this erroneous second conjunction (i.e. therefore, moreover, but, so), so they must be eliminated. Choice E is grammatically sound.

(Improving Sentences) — Plenty of high school students spend their time involved in the community by working with peers, young children and also helping senior citizens.
 spend their time involved in the community by working with peers, young children and also helping senior citizens.
 spend his time involved in the community by working with peers, young children and also helping senior citizens.
 spend one’s time involved in the community by working with peers, young children and also helping senior citizens.d.
 spend their time involved in the community by working with peers, young children and senior citizens.
 spend their time involving in the community by working with peers, young children and also helping senior citizens.
EXPLANATION — By breaking the parallelism (continuity of a pattern, in this case), the underlined portion of this sentence must be changed. By simply changing “also helping senior citizens” to “senior citizens” the list is clearly discussing people in the community from various age groups. Each other choice besides D uses incorrect pronouns (i.e. his) and/or parallel structure (i.e. also helping senior citizens).

(Identifying Errors) \begin{align*}& \text{It is} \ \underline{\text{ineffective}} \ \text{for high school} \ \underline{\text{administration}} \ \text{to make policy without even asking for}\\
& \qquad \qquad \text{A} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{B} \\
& \underline{\text{student}} \ \text{input; banning flip flops and enforcing strict dress codes}\\
& \quad \ \text{C}\\
& \underline{\text{has}} \ \text{merit but there must be a happy medium in school policy.} \ \underline{\text{No error.}}\\
& \ \ \text{D} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{E}\end{align*}
 ineffective
 administration
 student
 has
 No error
EXPLANATION — This sentence is correct as written. Note: Do not be tricked and think that D. is where the error is in this sentence. “Banning” is a singular act, so “has” is appropriate.

(Identifying Errors) \begin{align*}& \text{The young and ambitious writer} \ \underline{\text{whom}} \ \text{the students} \ \underline{\text{chose}} \ \text{to be their commencement}\\
& \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \quad \text{A} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \ \text{B}\\
& \text{speaker proved to be a} \ \underline{\text{knowledgeable and inspiring}} \ \text{orator on}\ \underline{\text{graduation}} \ \text{day.}\\
& \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \quad \text{C} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \quad \qquad \ \ \text{D} \\
& \underline{\text{No error.}}\\
& \qquad \text{E}\end{align*}
 whom
 chose
 knowledgeable and inspiring
 graduation
 No error
EXPLANATION — This sentence is correct as written.

(Improving Sentences) — McCarthyism was an ideology and an applied pursuit that arose in the middle of the twentieth century and targeted communists in the United States state department.
 McCarthyism was an ideology and an applied pursuit that arose in the middle of the twentieth century and targeted communists in the United States state department.
 McCarthyism was an ideology, an applied pursuit that arose in the middle of the twentieth century, targeted communists in the United States state department.
 McCarthyism was an ideology and an applied pursuit that arose in the middle of the twentieth century and targeted Communists in the United States state department.
 McCarthyism will be an ideology and an applied pursuit that arose in the middle of the twentieth century and targeted communists in the United States State Department.
 McCarthyism was an ideology and an applied pursuit that arose in the middle of the twentieth century and targeted communists in the United States State Department.
EXPLANATION — The original choice is wrong strictly for the lack of capitalization of “State Department.” Choice B complicates problems more than A by deleting certain words that turn the sentence into a runon sentence. Choice C fails to capitalize “State Department” (it needs to be capitalized because it is a proper noun—the United States State Department, not just “a state department”). Although choice D corrects the capitalization error, it changes “was” to “will be,” which is an illogical verb tense (i.e. future) because later in the sentence it is stated that the ideology arose “in the middle of the twentieth century,” which has already passed. Choice E corrects the capitalization error and leaves the sentence as it is. Sometimes just minor changes are needed!
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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012Last Modified:
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