Sentence Structure

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Hawaii has become one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States, but do you know how this cluster of islands became a state?  President Eisenhower signed a proclamation welcoming Hawaii as the 50th state on August 21, 1959.  This action was not without controversy and intrigue.  Do you know the role that sugar played in the story?  What about the conflicting desires of Queen Liliuokalani and Prince Kuhio of Hawaii?  The difficulties that Hawaii faced on its road to statehood would make a great historical example for your SAT essay.  Read some of the facts here and look at some relevant documents here, but also search for some of the current opinions about this historical event.

8/21 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. 

As you read the original sentence to yourself, listen for errors.  Check the underlined portions of the sentence against the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  If you see an error, mark it, but be sure to quickly check the other choices.

The Sun has been shining for nearly five billion years and is thought that it has sufficient thermonuclear fuel in its core to shine for about another five billion. No error

Look first at (A).  The word “nearly” modifies the “five billion years.” It is as close as possible to the words it modifies and it takes the –ly ending that most adverbs take, so there is no error in this underlined portion.  (B) should sound awkward to you.  Take out the words that are underlined and read the sentence.  “The Sun is thought __________ sufficient fuel.” You would not immediately place the word “it” in this blank because you already know that the subject is the Sun.  The word “it” is an unnecessary pronoun.  The correct phrasing is “to have.” Mark this error, but quickly check the other blanks. (C) is idiomatically correct because it uses the word “to;” you have enough fuel to do something.  (D) is idiomatically correct as well because you do something “for” a certain amount of time.   (E) cannot be correct because you already marked an error.

The correct answer is (B).

On, 59% of the responses were correct.

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