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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.

Always remember to make a prediction before selecting an answer choice. Predicting keeps the answer choices from distracting or confusing you, and it allows you to solve problems faster. The first step here is to read the sentence to see if anything "pops."

Encouraged from her teacher, Vanessa decided to enter the short story contest with a story about her experience growing up in CanadaNo error



Hopefully, A should sound strange to you. "Encouraged from" is not an expression common in spoken or written English because it is an incorrect usage. The correct idiom is "encouraged by." You could also receive encouragement from someone, such as a teacher, but since that structure is not used in this sentence A is likely to be the correct answer. Be sure to check the other choices before making a final decision.

B includes an infinitive, "to enter," which is used correctly after a conjugated verb, "decided." In languages such as Spanish, the infinitive is actually a different form of the verb, and that form must be used after a conjugated verb. In English, the same thing is true, but the infinitive is formed by adding "to" to a verb.

C is just the preposition "with." Every proposition needs a noun (or pronoun) to be its object. Here the object is "story," so the preposition is correct. Prepositional phrases function as modifiers, so make sure that the modifier is in the correct place. "With a story" actually modifies the verb "enter," but it must go after "the short story contest" to avoid confusion and to be consistent with current usage. C is correct as it is.

D is a prepositional phrase. "In" is the preposition, "Canada" is the object, and the whole thing modifies the verb "growing up." There are no problems with D.

The answer is A.


On sat.collegeboard.org, 77% of responses are correct.



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