PARCC Usage Practice Questions 3
1. Her novel is an American classic about a young girl who she called Billie Joe. No error.
1. C: "Whom" is the correct form for an indirect object, not "who," which is only used as a subject.
2. Hours of driving laid ahead of us before we could complete the trip. No error.
2. A: The correct past tense of "to lie" is "lay." "Laid" is only the past tense of the transitive verb form, i.e. one that takes a direct object, e.g. "She laid the book on the table."
3. Both Thoreau and Emerson were abolitionists; they had spoken out against the evils of slavery. No error.
3. E: This sentence is correct as it is written.
4. Yesterday our classroom computer was acting rather strangely. No error.
4. E: This sentence is correct as it is written.
5. We decided against medical careers because science had always given Sue and I trouble. No error.
5. D: "Sue and I" is incorrect as a direct object and would only be correct as a subject, e.g. "Sue and I had always had trouble with science." As an object, one would not write "Science had always given I trouble" but "Science had always given me trouble." Therefore, it should also be "Sue and me."
6. After a whole afternoon of playing basketball, I sleep very sound at night. No error.
6. D: The correct adverb (telling how) to modify the verb "sleep" is "soundly." "Sound" is an adjective and would only modify a noun, e.g. "Sound sleep is important to your health."
7. In the winter I usually like skiing and to skate. No error.
7. D: Both verbal direct objects modifying the same verb ("like") should agree. Since the gerund "skiing" comes first in this sentence, it should be followed by "and skating." (If one prefers the infinitive form, seen in this sentence's second object, then both should match: "...I usually like to ski and to skate.") Mixing forms causes disagreement.
8. The judge showed early signs of genius; for example, she began law school when she was only 19 years old. No error.
8. E: This sentence is correct as it is written.
9. The general greeted his former mess sergeant, whom he had not seen in many years. No error.
9. E: This sentence is correct as it is written.
10. Lately, many of the committee's suggestions has been rejected. No error.
10. C: The plural noun "many" (suggestions) requires the plural auxiliary verb "have" rather than the singular "has" with "been rejected."
11. The Supreme Court decision, along with discussions of the Justices' opinions are printed in today's newspaper. No error.
11. C: "Justices'" is used here as a noun, not a name/title/proper noun (e.g. "Justice Kagan"), and so should not be capitalized.
12. Neither Sue nor Carol thinks she is ready to write the final draft. No error.
12. E: This sentence is correct as it is written.
13. These notebooks have laid on the desk all week; please put them away. No error.
13. A: The correct present perfect tense of the intransitive verb "to lie" is "have lain," not "have laid." The latter is only correct when transitive, i.e. taking an object, e.g. "We have always laid these books on this table."
14. You had better leave for home quick if you want to avoid the storm. No error.
14. C: The correct adverb to modify the verb "leave" is "quickly." "Quick" is an adjective and can only modify a noun, e.g. "You had better make a quick trip home if you want to avoid the storm."
15. Monet used short brush strokes to create the allusion of moving water. No error.
15. D: The correct spelling for this meaning is "illusion," meaning a false or deceptive appearance. "Allusion" is a different word meaning an indirect reference, e.g. "The poem's use of threes is an allusion to the trinity."
16. Did Mr. Smith infer that our research paper had to be about an American author? No error.
16. A: The word "infer" is incorrectly substituted here for "imply." Mr. Smith would imply, i.e. hint or suggest in what he said; his students would infer, i.e. deduce from or read into what he said.
17. A spoonerism is a slip of a tongue in which the beginning sounds of two words are switched. No error.
17. E: This sentence is correct as it is written.
18. Being that I was sick, I missed a whole week of classes; luckily I copied all the lecture notes from Linda. No error.
18. D: There should be a comma between "luckily" and "I copied..." "Luckily" is an introductory word here for the second of two independent clauses. Introductory words like "however," "therefore," "fortunately," etc. should be followed by commas.
19. In 1912 Congress set a limit on the total amount of representatives in the House of Representatives. No error.
19. B: "Amount" is used with mass, collective, or non-count nouns, e.g. a large amount of water. In this sentence, "representatives" is a plural count noun, so it should read "...the total number of representatives..." rather than "amount."
20. In science class we learned about digestion, respiration, circulation, and etc. No error.
20. D: "Etc." is the standard abbreviation for the Latin phrase "et cetera" (translated from Greek), which means literally "and the rest." Since "et" means "and," to say or write "and etc." is redundant, i.e. saying "and" twice.
21. Clean air, as well as clean lakes and rivers, concern all of the citizens of the United States. No error.
21. B: The verb must be the singular "concerns" to agree with the subject "clean air." The plural nouns "clean lakes and rivers" are introduced by the prepositional phrase "as well as" and are part of this phrase, which modifies the subject. The predicate (verb) agrees with the subject, not its modifier. Only if "and" were substituted for "as well as" would the predicate be plural.
22. A school handbook is given to everyone who enrolls in our school. No error.
22. E: This sentence is correct as it is written.
23. Yes, records and compact discs have the same sound in my opinion. No error.
23. E: This sentence is correct as it is written.
24. Today the talent committee will audition Joe, Steve, and myself. No error.
24. D: The correct personal pronoun here should be "me" as a direct object rather than "myself." The latter is a special object (direct or indirect), used only reflexively, i.e. "I introduced myself to the class." The committee cannot audition "myself." Only I can audition myself; you can audition yourself; they can audition themselves, etc.