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Pronouns and Idioms

Link of the Day

Today’s SAT question has to do with basketball.  As you select your current events for your SAT essay, choose events that interest you, but remember that your goal is to convince readers that you are thoughtful and well informed.  A single basketball game might not make a great current event, but analyzing the success of a team or taking a look at an individual’s impact on society could be a fascinating intellectual exercise.  A lot of SAT questions deal with the themes of change, motivation, and success; these are themes that are easy to spot in any sport. Take a look at this article and think about the way that it links sports and education.  Particularly notice the current trends in urban education.  

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. 

Read the original sentence to yourself, listening for errors.  Once you have read the sentence carefully, go through and check each underlined portion against the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  Mark any error you find, but be sure to quickly check the remaining portions before selecting your answer.

According to their high school basketball coach, although Beth and her sisters worked equally hard in practice, Beth tended to outperform them both during games. No error

(A) is a pronoun so check to make sure it agrees with its antecedent.  This is a tricky antecedent to find because the antecedent actually comes after the pronoun; it is “Beth and her sisters.”  Both the pronoun and antecedent are plural, so (A) has no error.

(B) underlines “although.”  This word necessitates a contrast, so check to make sure that there is a contrast in the sentence.  You read that all the girls work hard, but that Beth excels during games.  The contrast is necessary and (B) has no error.

(C) isolates an idiom.  After the word “tend” or “tended,” the “to” is necessary before the statement of what that person tends to do.  (C) has no error.

(D) is a preposition qualifying when Beth performs the best.  It is idiomatically correct to say “during” games rather than saying “for” games or using any other preposition because games last a specific duration of time.

(E) is the only option that you have left.  Even though you might be able to revise this sentence to sound better, there are no grammatical errors.  Do not be afraid to pick (E) once you have checked all of the blanks for errors!

The correct answer is (E).


On sat.collegeboard.org, 45% of the responses were correct.

For more help with SAT questions, visit www.myknowsys.com!