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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.

This type of question is an Identifying Sentence Errors question.  Read the sentence to yourself, listening for errors.  If you are unable to find an error during your first reading, check each of the underlined portions and ask yourself whether there is any problem in that particular portion. Remember, some sentences will not have an error.

Japanese literature is noted for distinctive forms of drama as well as their poetryNo error

The Big 8 grammar questions from the Knowsys method will help you ask specific questions in order to identify any errors that might be present.  In portion (A) you encounter the first verb so you must check for subject and verb agreement.  “Japanese literature” is singular, so “is” is correct rather than “are.” “For” is also the correct preposition to use after “noted” in order to convey the meaning that the subject is noted for something specific.  (B) is a modifier.  It is placed directly before the phrase it modifies, “forms of drama,” and it agrees with the phrase it modifies. (C) is an idiomatically correct way to link two examples. (D) includes a pronoun, so you must check whether “their” agrees with its antecedent.  This is where you will run into a problem because there is no stated antecedent for “their.” Eliminate “their” and check to see whether the sentence is still complete and logical.  Not only is the sentence still complete, but also the comparison is much clearer without the unnecessary pronoun. Now that you have identified an error, you know the answer cannot be (E).

The correct answer is (D).


On sat.collegeboard.org, 59% of responses were correct. 


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