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an example of parallel structure

College Prep Writing


Assessment One

How well can you edit your own work? Study carefully the underlined parts of the sentences for grammar and usage errors, and choose the button corresponding to the error. There is no more than one mistake per sentence, and some sentences have no mistakes. Choose (E) if the sentence has no mistakes.


(A) All students need to have (B) his or her own calculator for (C) their math (D) classes. (E) No error.

Answer: B is incorrect.

Explanation: His or her is incorrect because the pronouns his and her are singular. The subject, all students, is plural, so the correct possessive pronoun is their.

Another example:

(A) Some of them (B) are good, but (C) none of them (D) is excellent. (E) No error.

Answer: E, no mistakes.

Explanation: A common mistake is to use a plural verb with the singular pronoun none. None means not one, and it is singular.

Now try these:

1. (A) Their policy is (B) that library patrons should not return books to the shelves once (C) you have removed (D) them. (E) No error.

2. Don't confuse (A) your things with (B) Martin's or (C) mine or (D) Anna's and her brother's. (E) No error.

3. (A) Nobody expected (B) they could do (C) it, but Isaac and Claire cleaned up the room by (D) theirselves. (E) No error.

4. (A) A teammate and (B) me (C) are planning a party for our (D) coach's thirty-third birthday. (E) No error.

5. (A) The winners of (B) the game (C) was Peter and (D) I. (E) No error.

6. She looked for (A) the twins in the library, but (B) neither of (C) them (D) was there. (E) No error.

7. (A) Playing sports (B) are one of the (C) activities that keeps (D) me busy after school. (E) No error.

8. (A) The players elected (B) the new goalie (C) for captain of the (D) school's team. (E) No error.

9. (A) She or (B) myself will try to get (C) them to deliver (D) it by Friday. (E) No error.

10. (A) Happiness (B) is different (C) thing to different (D) people. (E) No error.

11. (A) One's (B) grandmother's cooking is always better than (C) your (D) mother's.  (E) No error.

12. (A) The boys' wish (B) are for (C) a series of (D) sunny days without rain. (E) No error.

13. (A) For Daniel and (B) I a big bowl of Chinese noodles (C) is better than (D) a steak dinner. (E) No error.

14. (A) We left (B) our things (C) with my parents because (D) they became too heavy to carry. (E) No error.

15. (A) The incorrectnesses of (B) his sentences (C) was the reason for his poor scores on (D) his essays. (E) No error.