SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

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

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Knowsys Method

Read the sentence carefully, listening for errors. If you do not “hear” the error immediately, then quickly check each of the underlined portions against the Big 8 grammar concepts.

A. This choice contains a prepositional phrase, which is a type of modifier.  According to Knowsys rules, when you see a modifier you should ask yourself:  “is the modifier clear, effective, and logical?”  This modifier clearly refers to the “skyscraper,” and it makes logical sense.  Eliminate this choice.  

B. The concept tested in this choice is idioms.  When you see a prepositional idiom underlined ask yourself, “is the expression or word choice correct?”  It is idiomatically correct to say that something is located “across the street from” something else.  Eliminate this choice.  

C.   This choice contains an adverb.  Knowsys rules stipulate that you should know what adverbs look like and how they function.  Many adverbs end in “ly,” and they modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.  This adverb is used correctly because it modifies the adverbial prepositional phrase “beside [the public square].”  Eliminate this choice.  

D.  Whenever you see a verb underlined, ask yourself whether it agrees with the subject of the sentence.  The subject in this sentence is a simple compound subject (two or more words linked with “and”).  The two parts of the subject are “the modern skyscraper” and “the massive glass aquarium.”  Simple compound subjects take a plural verb, so the singular verb “was” is incorrect.  Mark this error.  

E. You have already found an error, so E cannot be your choice.

The correct answer is (D).
This is a hard level question.


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