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Pina Bausch is the subject of today’s SAT question.  If you enjoy dance or other forms of performance, you may want to consider using Pina Bausch as one of your historical figures for your SAT essay.  She would relate to any questions about creativity, originality, planning, highly accomplished people, and reasons for change.  Check out some information about this choreographer here.

Writing: 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. 

Always read the entire sentence to yourself so that you can check the meaning and structure of the sentence as a whole.  Listen for errors as you read it.  Then, quickly check each of the underlined portions of the sentence against the Big 8 Grammar Rules. 

The German choreographer Pina Bausch created dances that incorporated everyday human gestures and alternating between highly stylized, precise movements and more flowing, expressive ones. No error.

(A) When a verb is underlined, always check to make sure that it agrees with its subject.  This one does.  You could use “Pina Bausch created dances” as a complete sentence.  There is no error here.

(B) When do you use the word “that” and when do you use the word “which?”  Use the word “that” when the following words are vital to the meaning of the sentence.  The word “which” must have a comma before it, but there is no comma in this portion of the sentence, so the word “that” is correct.  Also, the word “incorporated” is past tense, matching the previous word, “created.”  There is no error here.

(C) This word follows a conjunction, “and,” so check the sentence for parallelism.  Pina Bausch’s dances incorporated one thing and alternating between two others.  Does that make sense?  No.  The word “alternating” must be changed to “alternated” in order to be parallel with the word “incorporated.”  Mark this error and quickly check the remaining choices.

(D) When you see a modifier that makes a comparison, such as the word “more,” make sure that the correct number of things are being compared.  In this case there are two things involved, precise movements and more flowing movements, so you need the word more rather than the word most.  The modifier more is also placed as close as possible to the word it modifies, “flowing,” just as it should be.  There is no error here.

(E) This cannot be the answer because you already marked an error.

The correct answer is (C).

On, 69% of the responses were correct.

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