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Idioms

Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E. 
First, read through the sentence to see if anything sounds wrong. Then apply the rules of grammar to see what actually is wrong. That way, you will improve your feel for grammar as you prepare for the SAT. 
Wynton Marsalis emerged as one of the great trumpeters of the late twentieth century, winning Grammy awards for both his jazz and even classical works. No error

This sentence may sound correct as it is, but it does include an error. Check each answer choice to see where the problem is. "Emerged as" is an idiom. Unfortunately, there are few rules where idioms are concerned; memorization is the only way to master them. "Emerged as" is the correct usage. Next is "of," a preposition. The object of the preposition is "the late twentieth century," and "of" is an appropriate preposition to describe when someone lived, so there are no problems with "of." "Winning" looks like a verb but here it is a participle. That means it is acting as an adjective and follows the rules for modifiers. Finally, "and even" is another idiom. Actually, it is the second half of an idiom. The first half is "both," and the correct usage is "both X and Y." "Even" is unnecessary, so D is the answer. The fully corrected sentence would read, 
Wynton Marsalis emerged as one of the great trumpeters of the late twentieth century, winning Grammy awards for both his jazz and his classical works.




68% of those who attempted this question at sat.collegeboard.org got it right.
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