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SAT Writing: Plurality

SAT Question of the Day

The SAT question of the day is an Identifying Sentence Errors question that tests your knowledge of plurality.

Start by reading the entire original sentence to yourself, listening for errors. You may spot the error right away.  This sentence is about cola nuts, which are of (or come from) certain types of evergreen trees.  Ignore the scientific names, which are not underlined, and continue reading.  The trees that produce cola nuts are from West Africa, and they are a member of the same family as cocas. 

Now quickly check the underlined portions of the sentence.  

(A)  The words "native to" are correct because the "to" is the idiomatically correct preposition to follow the word "native" when you want to exress where a species originated.  (You can also say that a person is a native "of" a particular place.)  There is no error here.

(B)  Notice the verb right before this blank.  This portion of the sentence is saying that the trees are a member of a certain family of trees.   The subject (trees) is plural, and the verb (are) is plural.  If there are multiple trees, then they should make up multiple members, not be "a member" (singular).  This portion should say "members" instead of "a member."  Mark this error and quickly check the remaining underlined portions.

(C)  The word "of" is the idiomatically correct preposition to express the family that members belong to.  One can be a member "of" a family, or many can be members "of" a family.  There is no error here.

(D)  The word "as" can be used to show that one thing is the same "as" another thing.  There is no error here.

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

The correct answer is (B). 

On sat.collegeboard.org, 53% of the responses were correct.

ACT Question of the Day

The ACT question of the day is a Science question that has already been addressed on this blog: click here to see an explanation.

To get help preparing for the SAT, PSAT, or ACT exam, check out the Knowsys College Readiness Program.

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