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SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

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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 portion(s) against the Big 8 grammar concepts.    

A.  At first glance, this portion of the sentence looks fine.  Once you read past the comma, however, a problem becomes apparent.  The verb of the sentence must be “was established” because this part of the sentence is not underlined and therefore cannot be changed.   As the sentence stands, it is a run-on because the two verbs, “is” and “was established,” are not separated with a coordinating conjunction like “and” or “but.”  Given the placement of the underlined portions, the only way to fix this problem is to delete “is” and add a comma in its place.  Then the sentence will read “Head Start, a program that offers services to pre-school-aged children in low-income families in the United States, was established …”  Re-worked in that way, the sentence would not be a run-on anymore.  Even though we found an error in choice A, we should still review the rest of the choices just in case.  

B.  The phrase “offer to” is idiomatically correct and is part of the Knowsys idioms lists.  Eliminate this choice.

C.  To say that the children in the sentence are “from low-income families” is idiomatically correct (as opposed to “of low-income families” or “out of low-income families” or something of the like, which would be incorrect).  Eliminate this choice.  

D.  The phrase “established by” is idiomatically correct.  Programs are “established by” people or organizations; programs are not “established of” or “established about” people or organizations.  Eliminate this choice.  

E.  We found an error in choice A, so E cannot be correct.

The correct answer is A.

This is a hard level problem.

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