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Verb Tense

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The Great Texas Sausage Festival in Somerville, TX, is proof that people will celebrate anything and everything! With everything from Doggie Costume Parades to Lawn Mower Races, this festival celebrates everything great about Texas. 

5/8 Improving Sentences

Part or all of the following sentence is underlined; beneath the sentence are five ways of phrasing the underlined 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. 

First, always read the sentence to see what sounds strange or wrong. Remember not to bother looking at choice A; since it's the same as the sentence you've already read, it's a waste of time. Use the original sentence to make a prediction about the correct answer, then compare the answer choices to your prediction.

The wide variety of spices and condiments used in sausage making including salt and, it depends on the ethnic or regional origin of the recipe, coriander, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, vinegar, mace, pepper, chili peppers, or pistachio nuts.

What a mess! First, this sentence has no main verb. "Including" is a participle here, and "depends" is part of a modifying phrase. At least, it seems like it is part of a modifying phrase; with the word "it" acting as a subject of the verb, everything from "it" to "recipe" is technically an independent clause. The word "it," though, is a pronoun with no antecedent; it does not refer back to anything in the sentence.

The correct answer, then, will probably eliminate "it" entirely. It will change "including" to a main verb that agrees with the subject (What includes? The variety includes) and "depends" to a participle.



A) including salt and, it depends

B) include salt, depending

C) includes salt, and it depends

D) includes salt and, depending

E) including salt and, depending

A and E both keep the participle form "including," so eliminate them. C has "depends" instead of "depending," so eliminate it as well. The only difference between B and D is the word "and." In the original sentence, "and" marks a difference between salt and all the other ingredients listed: namely, that salt is almost if not always included, and the other ingredients depend on the origin of the sausage recipe. Without the word "and," that distinction is lost. The answer is D.

The wide variety of spices and condiments used in sausage making includes salt and, depending on the ethnic or regional origin of the recipe, coriander, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, vinegar, mace, pepper, chili peppers, or pistachio nuts.


On sat.collegeboard.org, 54% of responses were correct.


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