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Idioms

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.  

As you read the following sentence to yourself, listen for errors.  Evaluate the underlined portion of the sentence using the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  Focus on the first error that you find to eliminate wrong answer choices, but do not forget that there may be more than one error in these types of questions.

Digital technology, like every marketer knows, it is synonymous with speed, precision, and the future.

One of the first things that you should notice when reading this sentence is that the underlined portion includes the word “like.”  The Knowsys material covers the word “like” because it is overused.  The word “like” should only be followed by nouns and pronouns, but in this sentence the word “like” is followed by the verb “knows.”  Instead of the word “like,” this sentence requires the word “as,” which can be followed by nouns and verbs together.  Make a note of that error.  You can now look down at your answer choices and begin eliminating incorrect choices.  However, there may be answer choices that do not use the words “like” or “as,” and there may be multiple answer choices that use the word “as.”  You have not yet finished examining the sentence just because you found one error.  When you read the sentence the first time, did any other part of the underlined portion sound strange to you?  Is the word “it” necessary?  Ignore the extra information between the two commas and the sentence reads “Digital technology it is synonymous with speed, precision, and the future.”  Make a note that the word “it” is an unnecessary pronoun that must be eliminated, and look down at your answer choices.

(A) technology, like every marketer knows, it is
(B) technology, similar to what every marketer knows as
(C) technology, as every marketer knows, is
(D) technology is what every marketer knows as
(E) technology that every marketer knows is

You know (A) is incorrect without reading it because you already identified errors in the sentence.  (B) sounds awkward and changes the sentence so that it is missing a verb.  “Digital technology” is the simple subject, but there is no simple verb to follow it.  (C) matches the changes you made perfectly.  You could probably have guessed this answer after only finding one error in the sentence, but accuracy is also important  to maximize your score.  (D) sounds awkward because of the word choices.  The word “as” is especially odd within the context of the sentence.  (E) subtly changes the meaning of the sentence because the subject is no longer all “digital technology,” but instead must be read as only the “digital technology that every marketer knows.”

The correct answer is (C).


On sat.collegeboard.org, 80% of responses were correct.

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