Grammar for Praxis II ParaPro Test Prep Study Guide
The practice quiz for this study guide can be found at:
For the writing section of the ParaPro Assessment, you must be able to identify problems in the grammar of a sentence—you don't need to be a grammar expert. There are only a few aspects of grammar that will likely be tested. For example, you need to be on the lookout for the incorrect use of subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, and verb tenses.
They goes together, or they go together? You probably don't even have to think about which subject goes with which verb here—your ear discerns easily that the second version is correct. Subject-verb agreement is when the subject of a clause matches the verb in number. Singular nouns take singular verbs; plural nouns take plural verbs. However, some instances of subject-verb agreement are tricky. Look out for the following three problem areas on the writing section of the ParaPro Assessment:
- Phrases Following the Subject—Pay close attention to the subject of the sentence. Do not be misled by phrases that may follow the subject. These phrases may confuse you into selecting a verb that does not agree with the subject. Try this practice question:
- Betty Friedan's 1963 book, of domesticity long-held American attitudes, an to feminism.
The correct answer is choice c. The singular subject, book, needs a singular verb, remains. Don't be confused by the plural noun attitudes, which is part of a phrase that follows the subject.
- Subjects Following the Verb—Be sure to locate the subject of the sentence. Test makers use subjects that come after the verb to confuse you. Sentence constructions which begin with there is or there are signal that the subject comes after the verb.
- the Australian government the Great Barrier Reef, there environmental factors that to threaten the world's largest coral reef ecosystem.
The correct answer, the underlined section with the error, is choice c. The plural subject factors requires a plural form of the verb, are. Nothing is wrong with the word although, so choice a is incorrect. The plural verb protects matches the singular tense of the word government, so choice b is incorrect The verb continue is in the correct tense to match the plural subject factors, so choice d is incorrect.
Special Singular Nouns—Some words that end in s, like measles, news, checkers, economics, sports, and politics, are often singular despite their plural form, because we think of them as one thing. Watch out for collective nouns—nouns that refer to a number of people or things that form a single unit. These words, such as audience, stuff, crowd, government, group, and orchestra, need a singular verb.
- That group of drama students labeled "the anarchists," they took over the university president's office against the dress code.
The correct answer choice is b. The collective noun group is the singular subject of the sentence. Notice how the position of the prepositional phrase of drama students following the subject is misleading.
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