SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

Read the sentence and select the portion of the sentence that contains an error if there is an error.  If there is no error, select E.

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 10.24.26 AM.jpg

Knowsys Method

Read the sentence carefully, listening for errors. If you do not find the error immediately, then check the underlined portion(s) against the Big 8 grammar concepts.

This problem is difficult because the original sentence is complex, but if you focus on the underlined portions, it is not that difficult to spot the error.  

A.  Chances are, nothing strikes you as incorrect about this choice.  Places are often referred to as “the town of (name)” or “the city of (name).”  This underlined portion sounds fine because it is idiomatically correct; that is, this expression is always said in this way.  Eliminate this choice.

B.  “Once known as” is an idiomatically correct expression.  If this expression sounds wrong to you, add it to your idiom flashcards and review it until it sounds right.  Eliminate this choice.   

C.  “In an effort to + verb” is not on the Knowsys list of frequently tested idioms, but it is a common idiomatic expression.  If you are not familiar with this expression, add it to your idioms flashcards.  Eliminate this choice.  

D.  This choice includes a pronoun, so you should ask yourself, “does this pronoun refer back to a clear antecedent?”  In this case, the antecedent for “their” is unclear.  Who are the people to whom this word refers?  This is the error in the sentence.

E.  You have found an error, which means that E cannot be correct.

The correct answer is D.
This is a hard level problem.

Want some help with SAT Vocabulary?  Check out these helpful resources:

Subscribe to Knowsys SAT & ACT Blog by Email