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SAT Writing: Improving Sentences

Improving Sentences

Select the choice that results in the best sentence – the sentence that follows the requirements of standard written English and communicates effectively.

The number of car crashes have increased dramatically as sending text messages has become more popular.

A.  have increased dramatically as sending text messages has become more popular 

B.  have increased dramatically because sending text messages has become more popular 

C.  have increased dramatically as sending text messages have become more popular 

D.  have increased dramatically as sending text messages becomes more popular 

E.  has increased dramatically as sending text messages has become more popular 

 

The Knowsys Method

Read the entire sentence carefully, listening for errors.  Then focus on the underlined part.  Evaluate it by checking it against the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  If you find an error, use that error to quickly eliminate any answer choices that do not fix the problem you found.

The grammar rule that is tested here is subject and verb.  Remember that test makers will try to trip you up by using the phrases "a number of" and "the number of."  The phrase "a number of" is plural, but the phrase "the number of" is singular.  Notice the first word in the underlined portion is the word "have," but "the number of" is supposed to be singular.  Change "have" to "has" and look down at your answer choices.  You can quickly eliminate all but one.

A.  This answer choice matches the original sentence.  Eliminate it without reading it. 

B.  This answer choice changes the meaning of the sentence by introducing a cause and effect relationship that was not present in the original sentence.  The word "as" does not necessarily mean "because."   It does not fix the error that you found.  Eliminate it.

C.   This answer choice introduces a new error.  The idea of "sending text messages" represents a singular action even though there may be multiple text messages.  It should be followed by the singular word "has."  Eliminate this choice.

D.  This answer choice changes the meaning of the sentence without fixing the error that you found.  Eliminate it.

E.  This is the only answer choice that fixes the error that you found.

 

The correct answer is (E). 

This is a medium level question.

 

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