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Verb Tense

Improving Sentences

Part of the following sentence is underlined; beneath the sentence are five ways of phrasing the underline material. Select the option that produces the best sentence. If you think the original phrasing produces a better sentence than any of the alternatives, select choice A. 

Read the sentence first to find any errors and predict a correction. Then check for differences among the answer choices to further narrow down your selection to only the correct answer.

Though its early history is not fully known, origami, the art of folding objects out of paper without cutting, pasting, or decorating, seems that it had developed from the older art of folding cloth.

In this sentence, the verb sounds strange--why use "had developed" when there is nothing in the sentence more recent than its subject, origami? Look for an answer choice that has "developed" instead of "had developed."


A) seems that it had developed form

B) seems to have developed from

C) seems to have been developed out of

D) had developed, it would seem, out of

E) developing, it seems, out of

First, eliminate A. Next, consider the verbs. The only answer choice that does not have a helping verb attached to "develop" is E, which instead has the participle "developing." Since a participle cannot be the main verb of a sentence, you must eliminate E and revise your prediction.

Look for differences among the three remaining answer choices. B ends with the preposition "from" while C and D both end with "out of." Which version makes more sense: origami developed from the art of folding cloth, or origami developed out of it? From is more correct here. Now read the sentence with this substitution:

Though its early history is not fully known, origami, the art of folding objects out of paper without cutting, pasting, or decorating, seems to have developed from the older art of folding cloth.

The answer is B.

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


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