Identifying Sentence Errors

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E. 

Each Identifying Sentence Errors question has, at most, one error. If it looks like there are two errors, always check the apparent mistakes against the grammar rules you know. Often, phrases that are grammatically correct sound strange because so few people actually know and follow the rules of English grammar.

The tiger usually hunts by night and feeds on a variety of animals, but it prefers fairly large prey such as deer and wild pigs. No error

Check each answer choice.

A) "Usually" is a modifier, so check whether it agrees with what it modifies. Here, it is an adverb modifying the verb "hunts," and since they are located right next to each other this adverb follows all the rules of grammar.

B) The verb "feeds" agrees with its subject, "tiger." Every preposition must have an object, and the preposition "on" has the object "variety." Prepositional phrases are always modifiers, so in addition to having an object each phrase must follow the rules of modifiers. The phrase "on a variety" modifies the verb "feeds," so it does not break any rules.

C) "But" is a coordinating conjunction, one of the FANBOYS you might remember from English class. FANBOYS is an acronym intended to help you remember the most common coordinating conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or yet, so. Coordinating conjunctions connect items of equal weight; what does "but" connect in this sentence? It connects two independent clauses. The first, in a simplified form, is "The tiger hunts and eats." The second is "It prefers large prey." Since these two clauses are equally important, the conjunction "but" is correct here. Now look at "it." "It" is a pronoun, so make sure it agrees with its antecedent. Here, "it" replaces "tiger," which is gender-neutral and singular, so "it" is correct.

D) "Such as" serves the same function as "like," in this case, a preposition with a compound object. "Compound" simply means there is more than one of something. In this case, the preposition has two objects, "deer" and "wild pigs."

Since none of the answer choices in the sentence contain an error, the answer is E.

On, 60% of responses were correct.

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