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Parallelism

Writing : 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 sentence to yourself, listening for errors.  Then quickly check the underlined portions of the sentence against the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  Mark any error that you find.

From its modest beginnings as a series of brief vignettes to its establishment as the longest-running prime-time animated series on television, The Simpsons transformed the way both the audiences and television programmers view the animated sitcom. No error

(A) The word “as” can be used to introduce how something once was or how something once was thought to be.  That is the way this sentence uses “as,” so there is no error here.

(B) Start by checking that the correct “its” is used.  “Its” is possessive and matches the previous “its” that is not underlined, so it must be correct.  Notice that the sentence uses the idiomatic phrase “from x to y.”  Whenever you see this format, you should check to make sure that the words that replace the variables x and y are parallel.  “Its modest beginnings as…” matches the format of “its establishment as…,” so there is no error here.

(C) Whenever a verb is underlined, check to make sure that it matches the subject and that it is in the correct tense.  The show transformed (past tense) the way people view (present tense) the show.  The change in tense is okay here because the change had to take place in the past in order for you to see an effect of the change in the present.  There is no error here.

(D) When you see the word “both,” you should immediately look for the idiomatic format “both x and y.”  An “and” follows this “both,” but the x and y are not parallel.  Only one has an article: “the.”  “The audiences” does not match “television programmers” in format.  Eliminate the extra article, "the."

(E) This answer cannot be correct because you already marked an error.

The correct answer is (D).


On sat.collegeboard.org, 47% of the responses were correct.

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