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Idioms

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 entire original sentence to yourself, listening for errors. Then quickly check each underlined portion of the sentence using the Big 8 Grammar Rules. If you identify an error, mark it and quickly check the rest of the sentence. Remember, you are checking the sentence for errors, not for parts that could be rephrased to sound better.

Modern vegetable farming ranges from small-scale, low-technology production and local sale and vast commercial operations that utilize the latest advances in automation and technology. No error

Begin by asking yourself, “Are there any problems?” If something sounds odd to you, identify the rule that has been broken.

(A) The word “modern” is a modifier that helps you understand what kind of vegetable farming the author is talking about. It is already placed as close as possible to the phrase that it modifies, so there is no error in this portion of the sentence.

(B) The word “and” is used twice in this sentence, but repetition is not the real problem. Go back to the phrase “ranges from.” If something ranges “from” one thing, it must range “to” another thing. The correct idiom is not “ranges from x and y,” but “ranges from x to y.” Mark this error and quickly check the other answer choices.

(C) Check that the word “utilize” matches “commercial operations.” It does: “commercial operations utilize” makes sense. The “that” is present because this is not the main subject of the sentence. If you remove the “that” you will create sentence structure problems because there will be a complete sentence within the sentence.

(D) The “latest advances” are definitely things that commercial operations could utilize. There is no error here.

(E) This choice cannot be correct because you already identified an error.

The correct answer is (B).


On sat.collegeboard.org, 74% of the responses were correct.

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