Blog

Idioms

Link of the Day

Today’s link is actually two links.  Read this article and then this article.  Both articles are about the same event, but they have very different interpretations of that event.  Why do they differ so much?  What does this tell you about finding news on the internet?  Even if you think that you have found a good news source, double check the accuracy of the report. 

Next think about these articles in terms of a current event.  How could you use the information surrounding the fact that a man just won $338 million to support a position on an SAT essay? What conclusions could you draw about the themes of money, fame, power, motivation, success, planning, chance, and even information?

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 each underlined portion of the sentence against the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  Identify and mark any error, but be sure to look at all of the answer choices.

Between 1508 to 1512, Michelangelo, working on a scaffold 60 feet above the floor, painted the vaulted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome with hundreds of giant figures that represented his vision of the world’s creation. No error

(A)  The underlined word “to” connects two different times.  This is actually a conflation of two different idioms.  You can say “from 1508 to 1512,” but there is no “from” in this sentence.  Instead, you have the word “between.”  The correct idiom is “between x and y,” so you must change the “to” into an “and.”  Make this change and quickly look at the rest of the answer choices.

(B)  Whenever you see an “-ing” ending, check to make sure it is necessary.  Here, the “-ing” ending lets you know that this is not the main verb.  The main verb is “painted.”  The entire part of the sentence that reads “working on a scaffold 60 feet above the floor” is set off by commas and simply describes Michelangelo’s position while painting.  The preposition “on” is the correct preposition because Michelangelo is actually on top of the scaffold.  There is no error here.

(C)   This underlined portion is idiomatically correct.  You can use the word “with” to say “I paint with a brush” and mean that you are using the brush, but you can also use the word “with” to indicate what you have painted.  Both uses are correct.  Michelangelo has painted “hundreds of giant figures.”  The preposition “of” is also idiomatically correct.  There is no error here.

(D)  When you see the word “that,” check to make sure that the word “which” is not needed.  The word “which” must have a comma before it, and there is no comma here.  The word “represented” is also correct.  It is in past tense to match the tense of “painted.”  Although you could change the tense of “represented” and still be technically correct, you are looking for errors, not ways to revise the sentence.  There is no error here.

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

The correct answer is (A).


On sat.collegeboard.org, 55% of the responses were correct.

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