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Sentence Structure

Writing: 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.  

Read the entire sentence carefully, then focus on the underlined portion and evaluate it using the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  Focus on the first error that you find to eliminate wrong answer choices.

The main tennis stadium of the US Open, named after the African-American tennis player Arthur Ashe and located in New York City, who won the first ever US Open men's singles title in 1968.

The original sentence is a fragment; there is no main verb to carry out the action of the sentence.  You need to look for an answer choice that adds a verb, but is also clear and concise.

(A) named after the African-American tennis player Arthur Ashe and located in New York City
(B) located in New York City and named after the African-American tennis player Arthur Ashe
(C) which is named after the African-American tennis player Arthur Ashe and is located in New York City
(D) located in New York City, is named after the African-American tennis player Arthur Ashe
(E) being located in New York City and having been named after the African-American tennis player Arthur Ashe

(A)  Eliminate this choice without reading it.  It matches the original.

(B)  This sentence is better than the original sentence because it moves the modifying phrase “located in New York city” to describe the tennis stadium rather than Arthur Ashe.  People may live in one place, but they are generally free to move about, and you cannot state with certainty that they will be located in a specific place for an indefinite amount of time.  However, this sentence does not fix the original error that you found; it is still a fragment.  Eliminate this choice.

(C)  This sentence is still a fragment.  The last modifying phrase “who won…” also describes the stadium rather than Arthur Ashe.  Eliminate this choice.

(D)  This answer choice fixes the original sentence structure problem by including a verb.  It essentially says the stadium is named after a certain person, then adds two modifying phrases.  Both of those modifying phrases are as close as possible to the subjects that they modify; the tennis stadium is followed by its location, and Arthur Ashe is followed by a description of his accomplishments.  Keep this answer choice.

(E)  The Knowsys handbook tells you to avoid the word “being.”  Eliminate this choice.

The correct answer is (D).


On sat.collegeboard.org, 66% of the responses were correct.

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