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SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

Read the sentence and select the portion of the sentence that contains an error.  If there is no error, select E.

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Knowsys Method

Read the sentence carefully, listening for errors. If you do not find the error immediately, then check the underlined portions against the Big 8 grammar concepts.

A.  Whenever you see a preposition underlined, determine whether its usage is idiomatic.  The phrase “anywhere from x to y,” as in “the cost may be anywhere from $5 to $20” or “children grow anywhere from a couple of centimeters to a few inches a year,” is a common idiomatic expression.  Choice A is not the error in the sentence.

B.  This choice constitutes the second part of the idiomatic expression “anywhere from x to y.”  Choice B is not the error in the sentence.  

C.  Once you hit this part of the sentence, you will probably sense that something sounds wrong.  What did Rockwell spend weeks or months doing?  Painting.  There should be no “and” before “painting” because Rockwell spent time painting, he did not spend time and paint.  This is most likely the error in the sentence, but check the remaining choice to be sure.

D.  If you see an adverb underlined on an SAT grammar question, be sure that it clearly modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.  The adverb “meticulously” modifies “painting” because it tells you how Rockwell painted.  Choice D does not contain an error.  

E.  Since you found an error, E cannot be the answer.

The correct answer is C.

This is a medium level problem.

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