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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. 

You must read the following sentence and evaluate the underlined portion using the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  Remember that re-reading choice A is a waste of time because it is the same as the original sentence.  Make sure that the sentence is as clear and precise as possible.

Like machinery was integral to the development of industrial capitalism, so the rapid transfer of information is the force driving modern business. 

The word “like” is covered in the very first grammar point from the Big 8.  You should immediately think of the idioms lesson in which you learned that people overuse the word “like.”  The rule you must memorize is that the phrase following “like” can only include nouns and pronouns.  This sentence follows “like” with the verb “was” so you need a word to express similarity that can be followed by nouns and verbs together.  The usual alternative to “like” is “as,” so look down at your answer choices.

(A) Like
(B) Given that
(C) Since
(D) Just as
(E) Although

(A) can be eliminated because you know that “like” can only be followed by nouns and pronouns. (B) and (C) can be eliminated because they change the meaning of the sentence.  In the original sentence a similarity is pointed out, but with these two phrases, the second part of the sentence comes to depend on the first.  (D) is correct because it uses the idiomatic phrase “just as” from your frequently tested idioms chart and the sentence follows this phrase with the necessary “so.”  You must still look at all the answer choices.  (E) can be eliminated because the word “although” indicates that a contrast will be made, but the sentence calls for a similarity.

The correct answer is (D).


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


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