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Introductory Phrases

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With rising inflation and high levels of unemployment, paying for college is getting more difficult every year. In order to support students in higher education, congress has voted to keep federal student loan rates low for another year. While some experts believe that this will help the education sector, others argue that it will only exacerbate the problem of rising student debt. You can read more about Congress's decision here

7/1 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.

"Improving Sentences" questions are fairly simple. All you need to do is look at the underlined portion. If there is an error or some obvious fault in the underlined portion, make a prediction about how you could improve the sentence. Then look at the answer choices. The correct answer won't always match your prediction exactly, but predicting will help you to identify the underlying grammar concept being tested.

Their part of the reconstruction process that followed the Second World War, the nations of Western Europe took steps toward achieving greater political and economic integration.


The sentence doesn't really sound right as it is, but it may take you a moment to figure out what is actually wrong with the sentence. The problem is that the first part of the sentence is an introductory phrase but it doesn't make sense in this context. You need to change the first word to something like "For part of the reconstruction process that followed the Second World War . . .   ." Now, take a look at the answers and see which one makes the introductory phrase clear and grammatically correct.

(A) Their
(B) The
(C) It was
(D) As
(E) On

You already know that (A) doesn't work. (D) however does work very well. It uses the preposition "As" to make it clear what "steps the nations of Europe took . . .   ." The other answers all leave the introductory phrase vague and unclear.

The correct answer choice is (D).

On sat.collegeboard.org 76% of the responses were correct.

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